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Minister should talk to the hand that feeds

Craig Foss needs to leave his office and consult with those most affected by over-the-top ACC levies – small businesses, Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Jacinda Ardern says.

“The Government has its own Small Business Development Group whose purpose, according to its website, is to ‘advise Government on small business issues’.

“Members of this group are the very people the Minister should be talking to about ACC levies. Instead he won’t even say whether he has consulted with them on further reductions in the levy, and admitted in the House that he hasn’t advocated for a reduction in levies at Cabinet.

“A report by Infometrics shows just how badly small and medium sized businesses are being over charged for ACC levies in order to prop up the Government’s faux surplus. Even ACC has said it’s time that the levies paid by businesses are reduced.

“Reducing red tape and improving cash flow are two critical issues for small business. The Government has a huge opportunity to help with one of those right now, but is refusing to budge. That refusal is costing some SMEs as much as $3000 more than it should.

“Any Small Business Minister worth his salt should be advocating for the sector on this issue. Not only has Mr Foss refused to be an advocate, he’s clearly not even asking the small business the question. Amazing.”