Reduced ACC levies recommended, ignored

The Government had a chance to give businesses and workers a break by reducing ACC levies this year, but chose not to as part of its desperate bid to achieve its much-hyped 2015 budget surplus, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Andrew Little says

“The Government has set levies higher than both ACC and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment recommended, saying any reductions would have a direct impact on the Crown’s operating balance.

“ACC and MoBIE advised that even with a reduction in ACC levies of up to 17 per cent the corporation would still be squirrelling money away for future liabilities.

“A reduction along these lines would mean an extra $125 in the hands of someone on the average wage and goodness knows how much for businesses.

“Yet despite the fact that the costs of accidents are falling, ACC already produces surpluses in the billions and the corporation has over $25 billion in assets, levies for businesses, workers and motor vehicle owners will remain unchanged from last year

“That will see the corporation net a nice little nest egg - $5.5 billion more than it needs to fund long term liabilities – courtesy of Kiwi taxpayers.

“The Government has been telling New Zealanders that it has to be financially sensible in tight economic times. Imposing a bigger than necessary ACC cost on homes and businesses is hardly allowing them to be similarly prudent.

“The whole exercise is classic smoke and mirrors. It’s about the Government giving the appearance that it can achieve a surplus by hiking petrol levies and, now, ACC levies.

“Higher than necessary ACC levies will have little effect on a real Government surplus, however, because they can only be spent on accidents and injury prevention.”