When asked to explain why they want to start privatising a world-leading institution like ACC, National and ACT tend to fall back on the excuse that it will somehow lead to lower ACC premiums.
Of course, the international experience and every independent report that’s been done shows the exact opposite, but they can always point to the one year of privatised ACC we enjoyed under National from 1998-1999 where the initial premiums were relatively low.
The Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern), one of National’s staunchest right-wing allies, has now helpfully busted that myth:
“The single year when we had a private market for ACC turned into a bun fight between insurers trying to capture business and employers trying get accident insurance within prescribed time frames,” Mr Jarvie said.
“Insurers at the time cut premiums to capture market share early on.
“Most commentators agreed at the time that the ensuing years would have seen large premium increases to offset the low entry price points.
“Having a full private insurance market won’t provide stability in the premium setting market, and it would make more forecasting and budgeting work for employers.
Of course, the Left’s been arguing that for years, but it’s good to have the EMA putting it on the record once and for all.
So now that’s cleared up, let’s stop pretending privatisation is about lowering premiums for workers and employers and face up to the fact it’s about rewarding National’s mates in the Insurance Council with $200m of our money.
Remember, that $200m isn’t coming out of nowhere. We’ll all pay for it sooner or later through higher premiums, endless court battles and denied compensation. So why the hell are we letting it happen?