MORE CUTS TO ACC LEVIES
The Government is proposing that the ACC make $500 million of cuts to work, earners and motor vehicle ACC levies over the next two years.
ACC Minister Nicky Kaye won’t say how the cuts will be allocated.
She says that will depend on the ACC consulting the public.
But with the cuts she is proposing an overhaul of the ACC’s legislation which will require it to keep all its compensation accounts solvent and will give the Government a more defined say in ACC levy setting.
She expects the legislation to be in Parliament later in the year.
The Employers and Manufacturers Association welcomed the Minister’s moves.
““We also like the fact there will be a more transparent levy-setting framework in the future and the Minister’s assurance around more stable levies in the future,” said EMA CEO Kim Campbell.
“This is something our organisation has pushed hard for in recent years as levies have varied greatly according to the financial fortunes of the ACC funding base.”
Business New Zealand however said it would have preferred to see the levies set by the ACC board.
“While Business NZ would prefer levies to be set by the ACC Board, given that they are accountable for the sound functioning of the ACC scheme, the new focus on greater transparency is very welcome and a big step forward,” said Business New Zealand CEO, Phil O’Reilly.
“It should reduce ad hoc decision-making.
“ For too long now, the levy process has been unclear, which can lay itself open to accusations of political manipulation without thought to the impact on premium payers or the wider economy.”
Labour Leader Andrew Little however called for the levy cuts now.
The full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.
“$500 million over two years is not enough.
“In March Labour revealed New Zealanders were being overcharged $350 million per year in the work and earners accounts,” he said.
“Today the government has announced $375 million in cuts next year, but this includes motor vehicle levies.
“They have already given up on making surplus this year.
“Not cutting levies by the full amount now is an attempt to make surplus in 2016.
“Overcharging business in New Zealand is costing jobs.
“Instead of worrying about covering their fiscal backside, the Government should listen to New Zealanders and cut their levies now.”