I’ve been meaning to write something about National’s attempts to beat up ACC’s costs in order to soften the ground for privatisation (see Farrar’s latest post here as an example), but No Right Turn captures it perfectly:
During the election campaign, National attempted to minimise concerns that it would privatise ACC, saying merely that it would “investigate” opening the Work Account to competition. Subsequently, it has done its best to beat up ACC’s financial position, and has now chosen to massively increase premiums rather than spread out the costs of full-funding over a longer period of time.
We know how this goes. First, they talk down a publicly-owned asset. Then they make it suck. Then they offer privatisation as a way of “fixing” the problem they have created. The end result in this case will be reduced entitlements, higher costs to both individuals and society due to the need to make a profit, and the diversion of a public income stream into the private pockets of National’s insurance-industry donors. It is, in short, a looting of the state – and we will all be paying for it, just like we did in the 90’s.
No surprise then to see Nick Smith making dark mutterings today about the need for “big changes” at ACC. We can all guess what those might be.