Saturday, February 27, 2010

Labour and ACC

THE OUTCRY from Labour in Parliament this week when the government made modest adjustments to ACC was predictable. But what was National expected to do, when the cost of ACC claims has ballooned by 57 percent over the past four years?

Part of the problem with ACC is that left-wing politicians have been unable to resist using it in their quixotic quest to right all the wrongs inflicted by a cruel world, even if it meant going far beyond the original remit of the scheme.

The rot set in during the 1980s when a Labour government extended ACC to cover claims for sexual abuse – unverified claims at that. Since then the scheme has been further extended, again under Labour, to compensate the families of suicide victims. But as ACC Minister Nick Smith asked last year, since when was suicide an accident? (Or sex abuse, come to that.)

ACC represents the high-water mark of a welfare system that has steadily expanded without regard for the ability of an under-performing economy to pay for it. Labour has only itself to blame now the day of reckoning has arrived.

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