Election 2014 - Party Policies - ACC
4th Jul 14, 5:11pm
This is where the parties stand on ACC.
- Move immediately to a paradigm wherein New Zealanders can purchase insurance of their choice off a competitive market.
- Where the legacy of ACC has created a long tail of liabilities that justice requires be delivered upon, ACT believes that the government should fund these out of general tax revenue.
- Review the removal of the right to sue and litigation rules in general. (more here)
- Ensure all people who have a genuine work related gradual process injury, disease, or infection; injury from treatment side-effects; or mental injury from an accident; receive their cover.
- Ensure specialist assessors are independent, chosen by clients, and share all communication between them and ACC with clients, to ensure people receive their full entitlements.
- Focus on fairer vocational rehabilitation and compensation, including rehabilitation to the greatest extent practicable.
- Revoke requirements of co-payments and develop alternative methods of cost-control such as contracting directly with treatment providers. Also review ACC to ensure it is ethically run, and funded via a pay-as-you-go model.
- Change the focus to obtaining the best outcome for clients, not the best financial outcome for ACC, and create an independent ACC Ombudsman to strengthen claimant’s rights and deal with complaints and abuses. (more here)
- Not privatise ACC.
- Increase compensation for loss of potential earnings to 80% of the median wage.
- Review ACC levies to ensure that they are not higher than needed for ACC to meet the real costs of claimant’s entitlements, and cut levies if affordable. (more here)
- Stop all moves to privatise part or all of ACC – keep it in public hands. Government to return to ‘pay as you go’ for ACC, rather than expecting ACC to collect enough money to cover all future costs in each year.
- Make health and wellbeing the priority, rather than forcing people off ACC as quickly as possible. Provide quality and appropriate social and vocational rehabilitation to all injured people, with the goal of maximising their ability to return to full participation in home, work and community life again, to the extent that they are able.
- Get rid of the vocational independence (work capacity) test which is unnecessary and is often used simply as a way of forcing people off ACC at the soonest possible opportunity, even when that means they end up either in the welfare system or with no income at all.
- Require ACC to continue cover as long as an injury remains a cause of a person’s current condition, rather than using pre-existing conditions or age related degeneration as an excuse to withdraw support.
- Provide stable, ongoing funding for community based beneficiary and ACC advocacy groups throughout the country. (more here)
- Not available on their website yet.
- Ensure levy reductions put $1.5 billion back in the pockets of New Zealanders over four years, including:
- Reducing ACC levies by a further $700 million to $900 million starting 1 April 2016.
- Reducing the motor vehicle levies from 1 July 2015, with the average vehicle levy falling from $330 to $195 a year, as announced this year.
- Maintain the good financial management of ACC that has seen the levy accounts become fully funded.
- Focus ACC on rehabilitation, injury prevention, and streamlining processes, while maintaining high levels of service.
- Continue to improve ACC’s systems and processes by:
- Reviewing all forms and processes to ensure they are fair and user friendly.
- Continuing to put the privacy of claimants at the forefront of the scheme.
- Working to ensure that claimants and providers find the ACC scheme as user-friendly as possible. (more here)
- Appoint an Accident Compensation Ombudsman with similar power and responsibilities to those of the Health and Disability Commissioner as well as a requirement to work closely with Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) to develop an educative approach to safer workplaces.
- Provide for employers to purchase ‘set-rate’ accident cover for employees, particularly lower paid part-time and casual workers.
- Remove the upper age limit for vocational rehabilitation.
- Oppose the entitlement to compensation for anyone injured whilst committing a crime.
- Ensure that the victims of violent crime are appropriately covered by ACC with no liability on employers, local authorities or other organisations with individual coverage unless there is proven and direct culpability. (more here)
- Support the continuation of the ‘no-fault’ regime and mandatory workplace accident insurance, but support competition in the provision of accident compensation services.
- Continue ACC’s focus on injury prevention as the best long term solution to reducing levies and claims.
- Prioritise measures to improve worker safety in those industries with the highest rates of serious harm, such as forestry and mining, through pro-active enforcement by Worksafe NZ.
- Establish a truly independent process to review appeals against ACC decisions. This process would also have the power to make recommendations to the government on potential changes to ACC legislation should it find flaws that regularly lead to unfair decisions.
- Support the statutory requirement of achieving full funding for all residual (pre-1999) claims by 2019, or earlier if possible. (more here)