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Media Release - 16 February 2010

Marchers protest government’s ACC rip-off

Hundreds of ACC supporters marched on parliament today to voice their anger at the government’s attack on the scheme.

The protest which included political parties, health providers and ACC users was organised by the ACC futures coalition and the bikers.

ACC Futures Coalition convener Glenn Barclay says the government has shown no interest in listening to the New Zealanders its ACC changes will hurt.

“People from across the social and political spectrum were out protesting against these changes today but the response from the government has been arrogant and dismissive, they just don’t want to listen to the people they are hurting.

“Despite the fact ACC works they seem determined to push on with changes that can only be described as ripping off the New Zealand public.

“The government claims it needs to push for full funding by 2019 but has offered no rational explanation why and is pushing ahead with destroying a system that is internationally renowned for its fairness and its efficiency.

“We can only assume this is to build resentment with the scheme to soften the ground for privatising the work account.”

Biker spokesperson Brent Hutchison says the government’s attack on ACC will be an ongoing political problem for them.

“After the last protest we said we’d be back and we are and we will keep pushing and protesting until this government sees sense and backs down.

“These bloody-minded changes will cause harm to Kiwis from all walks of life for no real gain and show how out of touch this government is with the people it claims to represent.”

The government’s changes to ACC include:
• forcing workers to use up their holiday pay entitlements before receiving weekly compensation payments
• a reduction in the ready for work status from 35 to 30 hours making it easier to force claimants off weekly compensation
• undermining the vocational independence process
• excluding those with less than 6% work related hearing loss from cover
• increasing levies for the majority of New Zealanders

12:00AM Tuesday, 16 February, 2010

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