It looks like the government’s sleight of hand on ACC is about to pay off. Having put up a clearly outrageous proposal to hike motorbike levies and thus made it the focus of anger over the ACC changes the government is now signaling they will back off.
Thing is, they were never going to ramp those levies up. But by threatening to do so they’ve ensured the debate is all about bikes and not about privatising the work account and cutting cover. With the bike issue signaled to settle the Nats will be hoping the public think the whole thing is done and dusted so the project of gutting the scheme can be quietly continued.
The only thing that surprises me is that it wasn’t Key that stepped in and pulled the bike rise as it could have been very good for his brand in terms of being seen to listen to the people and pull his minister in line. God knows he’s currently in need of some PR making him look in touch and strong.
I guess his handlers decided the risk of the misdirection not working would be too great. God forbid Key has his brand sullied by something as grubby as the ACC changes.