BIG NEWS

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

ACC


We all know now that Labour has been hiding a $1b shortfall in the ACC non earners account, which deals with claims from people like children, students and the elderly.The excuse was that Cabinet hadn't made a decision on what to do about it. The reality is that Cabinet decided not to make a decision on it to hide the shortfall, claiming that they didn't have time.

Yet the Government had time to announce retail bank deposit guarantees, constituting a $150 billion liability, without a Cabinet decision during their campaign launch. Yet they told officials not to include the ACC figures in the PREFU and officials I have spoken with today are furious about this dishonesty. And Labour wanted to lower ACC levies knowing full well it had been hiding a blowout in the non earners account for six months purely because Cabinet refused to make a decision on it.

John Key has announced a Ministerial inquiry - the first proper inquiry on anything since 1999. Former ACC minister Maryan Street, who knew about a shortfall since May, is not talking to anyone, she's not the Labour spokesperson anymore. She won't reveal how much of the shortfall she knew in May. How convenient. An OIA request has already been sent to ACC as ACC will not reveal what they told to whom about this. Another thing for the Ombudsman to follow up on in 20 working days.

I'm actually wondering if policies like student allowance announced during the election campaign were announced at this time purely because the Government had just engineered the ACC shortfall so it would not be revealed until after the election when it would be National's responsibility to find out later and clean up the mess.

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Scoopit!

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