National’s ACC policy

July 16th, 2008 at 3:27 pm by David Farrar

has released its ACC policy. As expected they are supportive of opening the workplace account up to competition.

Now you will hear much misinformaion about what this means. It in no way means employees will have less rights to compensation in case of an accident. All insurers will have to provide the at least the exact same coverage as the does.

What it does is allow employers to choose the best workplace insurer for them. Just as we do not force everyone to use the same car insurer or same contents insurer. Employers will also be able to purchase workplace insurance beyond the minimum requirements – something you can’t do through the ACC.

If an insurer does not have a state monopoly behind it, then it has incentives to work with employers to have safer workplaces. It is a win-win-win. Insurers pay out less money. Employers get cheaper premiums and employees have less accidents.

Labour will argue that regulations provide the incentive to have safe workplaces. This is typical leftish thinking – all stick and no carrot. Now as it happens large employers are able to already get some incentives in terms of the accredited employers scheme which allows self or private insurance. This is about giving all employers that same choice.

National says in their policy:

There is little incentive (in the form of lower levies) for those who adopt good safety practices in the workplace, and there are no penalties for those who disregard good safety practices.

Because there is no choice or competition, there is no real transparency around the
operation of the scheme.

Employers provide the basic minimum cover for staff, as they are obliged to do. A more flexible scheme would encourage employers to buy more than the basic cover.

All good points. Having made those points I am surprised they are not saying they will definitely introduce the much needed competition, but just investigate it. I guess they are keeping options open in case it proves too difficult. At the end of the day they did so in 1998, so I am confident they will do so.

Finally they are also saying they will investigate the merit of introducing an independent disputes tribunal to end ACC’s dual role of judge and jury on disputed claims. I suspect there would be considerable support for that.

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79 Responses to “National’s ACC policy”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,220 comments) says:

    Finally they are also saying they will investigate the merit of introducing an independent disputes tribunal to end ACC’s dual role of judge and jury on disputed claims.

    So the independent disputes tribunal will instead be both judge and jury? I think there may be a flaw in the analogy :-)

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  2. big bruv (12,359 comments) says:

    FFS

    JOHN, BILL, GERRY……Have some fucking balls, stop being so wishy washy and come out with a “this is our policy and if you do not like it then tough fucking luck” press release for a change.

    I am heartily sick of all this “perhaps…. in the fullness of time…. if the climate is right…we will investigate” bullshit, you are supposed to be a right wing party, be fucking proud of that and have the guts to say what you stand for.

    It might even entice a few of us who think you are soft cocks to vote for you.

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  3. PaulL (5,775 comments) says:

    No Roger, there is no evidence whatsoever that anyone from the Insurance industry donated money to National, other than a handful of major insurance companies who donated exactly the same sums to National and Labour.

    There is also no plausible path by which they could have done so – the insurance executives are unlikely to have done so from their own money (they are salarymen – they are hardly going to donate so as to enrich their shareholders), and it is impossible for a publicly listed company to donate without noting so on their audited annual returns.

    There is probably evidence that National consulted with the industry in forming this policy. Not much point in having a policy of opening up an insurance area to competition if none of the major companies would be interested in offering it. Also not much point in doing it if the structure you suggest is not one that could be profitably offered.

    If you have absolutely any evidence that either of my assertions above are incorrect (that there is no plausible method by which the companies could have donated, and that there is no improper involvement in policy formation beyond that any party would expect to engage in), then please provide it. If you’re just going to smear and imply things, then really, don’t bother.

    In short, pre-empting the crap that we are about to get on this thread from the idiot brigade.

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  4. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    Thank goodness and I hope they do it and do it quickly.
    I cannot believe how much I have to pay for ACC – once as a shareholder in my company and then again as a worker in the company!
    What’s more they increased it because they now cover the trip to work as a work related accident.
    For God’s sake my trip to work is about fifteen metres past the vegetable garden. I don’t know of any plants that are going to leap up and eat me.

    There are heaps of us who work from home but have to pay for all the risks associated with driving miles to get into the office where God knows what perils await us. Bullying I suppose. Of course I bully myself terribly and as for the sexual harassment …. !!!

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  5. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Nah, I agree with just saying they will investigate these possibilities.

    First of all it lets the public know that there will be a chance for feedback and National simply wont get in, force it through with zero worthwhile public consultation. That is something Labour would do, ie, claim that the election win gave them an unquestionable mandate to make all the changes they campaigned on.

    Second of all, who in their right mind would trust in what a Labour government says is the truth? National should wait until they get in, until they can see the real situation in other words, until they commit 100% to anything like ACC reform. They dont want to win the election, and then find out that the state of the play is completely different to what the Labour party was proclaiming. That happened once already, remember?

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  6. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    I’m just amazed they haven’t backed down on this one as well.

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  7. dime (8,752 comments) says:

    this thing has to be opened up to competition!

    we are customers damnit! not to be treated with contempt!

    ACC can burn in hell

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  8. davidp (3,320 comments) says:

    Not connected with ACC, but…

    Word on the street has it that the diesel train that Clark and Cullen appeared with at Wellington railway station… the one painted up in the new Kiwi Rail colours… had a knackered engine and that it had to be shunted in to place by another engine. Which would not be a good look for Labour and its rail plans.

    Has anyone else heard this?

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  9. bustedblonde (138 comments) says:

    Agree with Owen – its the -,,take a little and a little more off the little guy so he stays little. I could not believe the amount the buggers took of me last year – and they had me on the wrong code then they catagorically, in an email, gave me the final assessment – i paid it and 3 months later I got a refund – albeit only enuff to buy a bottle of Central Otago pinot. I used to work for em – worked on unbundling the whole org in the early 90′s and there is plenty of scope to have bits privatised – bring it on and quick I say.

    That being said there are some good bits ab out ACC – they get in and sort out accident treatment waaaaay better than the health system.

    And the Nats should employ Melissa Clark Reynolds to oversea the shakeup.

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  10. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    So – we have two points of policy difference between National and Labour will.

    1) Allow competition in workplace insurance, which doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Assuming DPF isn’t being cute with the details and, it isn’t used as a Trojan horse for privatisation (i.e. the inefficient US litigious system).

    2) A 90 day probationary period (in which employers would be able to choose to not pay out wages, because the low-skilled, low-paid, low-educated employees who would be the ones caught by that legislation wouldn’t be able to afford the $5,000 plus legal fees that civil court cases require) because John Key would “love to see wages drop”.

    I would just “love to see” National reveal its true nature a bit more by introducing more anti-people policies like number two.

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  11. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    davidp Considering last choo choo was purchased by NZ Rail in 1981 27 years ago Im not surprised. Watch as Kiwi Rail gobbles up billion and billions of dollars hiding the real unemployment situation over pricing freight cosats losing tractors for 3 years between stations etc etc.

    On ACC Another of the great gobbling of tax machines How many hidden unemployed and skivers have derived how many millions of dollars over the decades.

    How many pen pushers have been employed soaking up employers and workers earnings.

    Why as others have stated dont we also have a monopoly state owned life house car boat etc etc insurer to ensure the “best” outcome for the insured.

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  12. Fisiani (855 comments) says:

    Nationals ACC policy confirms what we already know.
    National are the Party of Free Enterprise and Competition. Duh!
    Labour are the Party of Nationalisation and Monopoly Duh!
    November 8th and a National victory brings everyone lower ACC costs. easier employment rules lower personal tax and reduced compliance costs.
    Hurry up Helen. Time is up. Stop hiding and tell us the election date.

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  13. Alex@BeehiveBuzz (1 comment) says:

    It’s a smart time to release policy that will appease mainstream voters and give Labour nothing to go on the offensive with. http://www.beehivebuzz.co.nz/2008/07/some-policy-releases/

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  14. Fisiani (855 comments) says:

    RM you put that as a quotation. John Key would “love to see wages drop”. Bullshit

    You know that the newspaper who earler did so made a retraction and apology.
    It s only fair that you do so too.

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  15. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    IMHO Roger its the Socialists who have had the anti people policies

    Like forcing me to pay for things I dont want and dont need.

    Like not allowing me choice in whom I purchase goods and services from.

    Thats anti people sunshine

    Pro people is giving me choice and allowing me to decide and then having to take the responisbility for my choices and not suck off you and every other tax payer

    Its called standing on my own two feet EXCEPT where I truly and honestly need help and am prepared to accept help on the basis that I agree to the terms and conditions of those who provide me help

    And dont spit into their face.

    Geez you really are a soft cock arent you

    Never mind bubba You and your lot will get done like a dinner come election 08 Whoppee

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  16. JC (839 comments) says:

    I pulled out my 1999 private insurer company premium the other day. One office worker and two to three full time on forestry and logging.. $299 per year. I was a happy camper!

    It was the no accident history that did it.

    Now, of course, I pay North of $1400 for just me and my still no accidents.

    JC

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  17. radvad (620 comments) says:

    The Nats need to get cleverer in promoting these policies.
    For example, they should trumpet loud and clear that even the Salvation Army supported competitive ACC and opposed Labour’s removal of competition.
    Why? Because it saved them heaps.

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  18. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    oh poor gd – If I ever get to be an evil socialist overlord i’ll make sure you remain unable to purchase lead paint. That is unless you really want to have the choice to be a “soft cock”.

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  19. PaulL (5,775 comments) says:

    Roger, good to see you didn’t attempt to paint the ACC policy as a disaster – despite having done so on numerous threads recently. Guess I got in first and stopped you.

    However, you have regurgitated another shibboleth of the left that somehow a 90 day probation period is anti people. Of course, such a probation period would allow many people who are currently considered unemployable – too risky – to get a job. Which is enormously in favour of people. And if they prove that they are actually a good worker in those 90 days, they then get all the “protections” that all NZ workers enjoy today. Your argument has been demolished before, you’re repeating it again in the hope that those on this thread haven’t seen you before.

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  20. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    well Roger lets us see come election 08 whether the good citizens view the Socialists policies as pro people or anti people.

    My betting will be the latter And that the same good citizens will view the Nats policies as pro people.

    My hunch is the citizens have tired of the STATE dictating their every move for the past 9 years and now wish to free themselves of the oppressive clawing that is Socialisim and Communisim.

    VIVE L” REVOLUTION STORM THE BASTILLE OFF WITH THEIR HEADS

    Now need an asprin and a lie down after that

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  21. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    PaulL-

    “Of course, such a probation period would allow many people who are currently considered unemployable – too risky – to get a job.”

    Currently less than 0.3% of the workforce have been unemployed for a year or more. Very few people are in fact seen as categorically unemployable within the current legal environment.

    “Your argument has been demolished before”

    No it hasn’t. I’ve yet to see anyone produce a significant pro in support of that legislation, but there are plenty of negatives. I notice that no one here is able to refute my point that:

    2) A 90 day probationary period (in which employers would be able to choose to not pay out wages, because the low-skilled, low-paid, low-educated employees who would be the ones caught by that legislation wouldn’t be able to afford the $5,000 plus legal fees that civil court cases require) because John Key would “love to see wages drop”.

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  22. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “RM you put that as a quotation. John Key would “love to see wages drop”. Bullshit You know that the newspaper who earlier did so made a retraction and apology. It s only fair that you do so too.”

    John Key pressured the editors to retract the statement. In fact many journalists signed a letter which condemned John Key for this act of anti-free speech behaviour.

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  23. Nomestradamus (2,769 comments) says:

    Does anyone believe anything Phillip John/Roger Nome says anymore? Time to take a trip down memory lane:

    roger nome Says:
    December 8th, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    This is set to change in the next few years when labour and the greens bring in their coarbon emmissions trading scheme.
    BTW, who was it that said “climate change is an utter hoax” again? Wasn’t the same guy that tried to pull a swifty on that band coldplay was it?

    [DPF: Oh such blind faith. In eight years it has only got worse. And you are lying with that made up quote. Those words have not been uttered by any MP - it is a fabrication. You are a liar]

    Indeed.

    Phillip John might actually rediscover “credibility” if he quotes what people say (ie actual words), and in the correct context (ie fair representation).

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  24. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    In support of my last post – the guys over at the standard have also noted that…

    This morning on Sunrise, John Key said “wage inflation” is a problem causing inflation and needs to be reduced. Wage inflation is a businessman’s way of saying pay increases. John Key opposes Kiwis getting the pay increases they need to cover the rising cost of living.

    That’s black and white evidence that John Key would “love to see wages drop”. He thinks that our highly deregulated labour market (the fourth least regulated in the OECD according to the OECD), is delivering wage increases that are too high! What he wants is higher unemployment (the only way to achieve wage restraint in a liberal Labour Market) and lower wages. This would probably mean dumping the centrist Bollard, and appointing a monetarist as Reserve Bank Governor, to up interest rates, and lower inflation in order to increase unemployment, and force downward wage pressure (what Brash did in the 1990s).

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  25. PaulL (5,775 comments) says:

    Bullshit Roger, and you know it. The quote was probably inaccurate, and even if accurate was definitely quoted out of context and/or known at the time to be a misspeak. You are dishonest in using it – nobody, other than perhaps in the crazed rantings on The Standard, thinks that John Key wants wages to fall.

    As to some dream that the probation period will allow people to be not paid – that is clearly not the intent of the law, and unlike the Labour party I expect meaningful select committee hearings to make sure there aren’t unforseen loopholes. Which reminds me, how is that EPMU campaigning going?

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  26. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “Phillip John might actually rediscover “credibility” if he quotes what people say (ie actual words)”

    Yes, I later corrected my mistake and pointed out that John Key had said “Kyoto is an utter Hoax”. Unfortunately nearly every country in the world is signed up to Kyoto now. Makes Key look a little silly don’t you think?

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  27. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Paul:

    “As to some dream that the probation period will allow people to be not paid – that is clearly not the intent of the law”

    I never said it was the intent, simply that it will be an outcome. The exact same thing was common under Natioanal’s ECA during the 1990s. i.e.

    1) Under the ECA parties could wait a year or more for mediation and two years for an adjudicated hearing. As a result, many people would just move on, not wanting to be bothered with having that worry hanging over their head for years.

    In contrast, under the ERA the process is quick and easy with the average time spent waiting for a hearing being just 3 weeks.

    2) Under the ECA a typical one day hearing would commonly involve legal costs of $5,000 for each party. So unless your claim(s) involved more than $5,000 in wages in arears it wasn’t economically rational for an employee to seek legal redress.

    The result was that employers could get away without paying employees for weeks, and not face any consequences.

    In contrast, under the ERA mediation is free. So that one’s a no brainer.

    A probationary period would take us back to the days of the ECA. i.e. National has stated that the ERA’s employment institutions won’t apply, and employees will have to seek legal redress for grievances through the civil courts. That means lawyers and a lot of money for low-paid workers, who are the ones who are most commonly screwed over.

    If you don’t believe me, go read the following academic article:

    McAndrew, I., Morton, J. and Geare. A. (2004) The Employment Institutions, in: Employment Relationships: New Zealand’s Employment Relations Act, Rasmussen, E. (ed) Auckland University Press, Auckland.

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  28. PaulL (5,775 comments) says:

    No, Roger. Again. That is black and white evidence that John Key is consistent in believing that wage increases driven by inflation are a fool’s paradise. There is no point having more money if inflation results in you being able to buy less with it. That disproportionately hurts the poor. He has said this time and time again, you have misinterpreted time and time again.

    He has consistently put his vision for what NZ needs, which is a combination of wage rises that are driven by real productivity growth (not inflation), and the government appropriating a smaller proportion of those pay rises, allowing NZ workers to keep more of the benefits of their productivity increase (and thereby creating a virtuous cycle where people are prepared to invest in improving their productivity).

    You have drawn an incredibly long (and wildly inaccurate) bow with your statements. You are (again) an idiot.

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  29. Nomestradamus (2,769 comments) says:

    Phillip John/Roger Nome:

    That’s black and white evidence that John Key would “love to see wages drop”. He thinks that our highly deregulated labour market (the fourth least regulated in the OECD according to the OECD), is delivering wage increases that are too high! What he wants is higher unemployment (the only way to achieve wage restraint in a liberal Labour Market) and lower wages. This would probably mean dumping the centrist Bollard, and appointing a monetarist as Reserve Bank Governor, to up interest rates, and lower inflation in order to increase unemployment, and force downward wage pressure (what Brash did in the 1990s).

    This is how you’ve structured your argument:

    - First you claim “black and white evidence” (on the basis of a second-hand quote, which I don’t think actually substantiates your case at all).
    - Then you claim to speak for what Key thinks and wants.
    - Then you speculate as to what it all means.

    Wonder why you’ve got a credibility issue?

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  30. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    I was jumping up & down in utter happiness when I saw they’re looking to change the way ACC investigates itself. They couldn’t follow their own rules if they had a pack of guide dogs leading them. For me it took the minister to tell them to get of their ass & do their job, to get my simple case sorted.
    This was after months of giving them all the info they wanted & weekly phone calls to ask what’s going on from both me & my employer & GP.

    And if employers are rewarded for keeping their staff safe/hiring intelligent staff then why not do it? Surely ACC could of done this themselves if they’d had some sense

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  31. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “That is black and white evidence that John Key is consistent in believing that wage increases driven by inflation are a fool’s paradise.”

    So how do you think he would go about getting “wages to drop”?

    POC:

    “which I don’t think actually substantiates your case at all”

    Oh but I think it does. It’s a direct quote. Also, how do you think Key could lower wage increases other than by the ways I mention? Would be glad to hear them.

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  32. glubbster (345 comments) says:

    No Nomey, John Key was talking about the problems that rising fuel, food and wage pressures were having on inflation and the economy. As the cost of living rises, wage pressure also increases. The govt’s outrageous spending has driven up inflation and Key wants to deliver greater tax cuts to ease the pressures and burden on NZers and to stimulate the economy. Liabour has no idea what to do but instead prefer to focus on buying toy trains & imposing a further tax via the ETS when families are struggling to make ends meat.

    To say Key wants to reduce everyones wages is way out of context, irrational and typical Liabour scaremongering from their nasty sycophants at the Stranded.

    Key also made the point that tax cuts are not as inflationary as govt spending since a proportion of a tax cut is saved or used to repay a debt. So sure, tax cuts will have some inflationary impact, but when met with cost reductions in wasteful areas and given that a significant proportion of a tax cut is saved, the overall effect on inflation is likely to be minimal.

    Liabour’s policies on the other hand….

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  33. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Here, go and watch the video yourself if you don’t believe the quote:

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Video/Sunrise/tabid/572/articleID/63172/cat/167/Default.aspx

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  34. glubbster (345 comments) says:

    Nomey why would key want higher unemployment? How absurd. You should rename yourself to muddynome given all your mud-slinging.

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  35. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    I completely agree with the people on this thread that have had a gutsfull already of the ACC. For incompetence and inflexibility, they are worse than the IRD.

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  36. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    All sounds very good.

    There’s a lot of “don’t worry we’re not going to take away the ACC services you’re used to” though.

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  37. Inventory2 (9,789 comments) says:

    roger nome said “In support of my last post – the guys over at the standard have also noted that…”

    roger nome – you have precious little credibility on this blog. When you preface a statement with “the guys over at the standard…” you lose what little credibility you may have. Surely even you couldn’t argue that “the guys over at the standard” are neutral when it comes to John Key!

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  38. glubbster (345 comments) says:

    muddynome, I think you misunderstand the role the probationary period has:
    1) It gives employers a chance to hire someone who they would not otherwise given say their previous history..
    2) Thus, it gives people out of the workforce a chance to get back in.
    3) Employers want to keep people on, not fire them after 90 days so they can employ another person for the same job being person they know nothing about and have to retrain. Your argument makes no sense.
    4) Also, current employees lose no rights.
    5) Even if the new employee does not get hired permanently, they can at least get a reference on their CV and away they go with experience to a new job.
    6) The legislation can be structured so that there is access to the Tribunal in the case of a dispute.

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  39. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Is that all you have, Nome?

    Some delusion that Key wants everyones wages to drop? Thats pathetic.

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  40. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    “Is that all you have, Nome?”

    Kimble if you are going to go out of your way to wind the guy up instead of arguing the topic, then it’s really as much your fault as Nomes’ if he fills up these discussion boards with arguments and comments you don’t like! And then you are one of the foremost people bleating to DPF that he should ban Nome. Heal thy self, doctor…

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  41. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    So it is my fault for asking Nome if he has anything other than conspiracy theories to contribute?

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  42. glubbster (345 comments) says:

    RRM is a lot like muddynome, just a little less scaremongerer (but just as irrational).

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  43. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    “So how do you think he would go about getting “wages to drop”?”

    Nome is a worthless lying fucktard and if anybody needs any proof this one sentence provides it. Wages dont need to drop in order for wage inflation to drop.

    Nome knows this. He is just a troll.

    Anybody on the fence about who to vote for this election should pay attention to the lengths anti-Key unionists have to go to to find anything objectionable to say about Key and National. They have to lie.

    If the only bad thing you can say about a guy is a lie, what does that say about him?

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  44. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Socialist logic: “Rich evil greedy capitalists want people on low wages, the fact that these same capitalists actually need people with as much discretionary spending availible to them as possible in order to buy said capitalists products thereby generating the hated “profit” for said capitalists which keeps them in business and producing is neither here nor there”

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  45. Dean (10 comments) says:

    Roger, have you managed to figure out the difference between before and after tax income yet?

    I thought it’d be prudent to ask, seeing as how you continually avoid the question, and given how aptly it demonstrates your complete inability to debate rationally anything to do with money.

    For bonus points, please plead ignorance about what I’m talking about, so that I can link you back to your own words on this blog. That’d be just super.

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  46. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    David, why don;t you just rename ‘kiwiblog’ ‘nomeblog’? ?

    Because whatever the thread it always seems to end up about him.

    It’s fucking ridiculous.

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  47. francis (712 comments) says:

    Man, you’re really got to be listening through only one very paranoid ear to hear John talk about cutting wages in that Sunrise segment.

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  48. Grant (383 comments) says:

    What Lee C said.
    G

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  49. Inventory2 (9,789 comments) says:

    No point arguing with the nome now – it’s out of hours for him!

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  50. PaulL (5,775 comments) says:

    Nome:

    So how do you think he would go about getting “wages to drop”?

    I think the quote marks there indicate you’re quoting yourself, no? So I have no idea how John Key would go about getting wages to drop, I don’t think that is his intent. If John Key were actually Roger Nome, then he might want wages to drop. I think the way he would do it is by having a lot of self styled academics wasting taxpayer money and producing nothing.

    If you don’t believe me, go read the following academic article:

    Is that academic in the sense of “authoritative” or academic in the sense of “one of Roger Nome’s mates wrote it.” Because if you are an example of the quality of thinking that will be behind it (given your claim to be an academic and to write academic articles), I’m not sure that I would be likely to believe them any more than I believe you.

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  51. JC (839 comments) says:

    “David, why don;t you just rename ‘kiwiblog’ ‘nomeblog’? ?

    Because whatever the thread it always seems to end up about him.

    It’s fucking ridiculous.”

    Hear, hear, within ten posts the bot reduces the thread to irrelevancy. Without doubt, banning the thing would reduce traffic by 30% or more but why feed it? It lives and thrives on the inherent stupidity that resides in all of us and guarantees that genuine leftish views are treated badly. Hands up those who can’t be bothered to comment once it becomes a Nome thread?

    JC

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  52. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    What a bunch of wimps the Nats are, why did they not say they were going to drop ACC in favor of a workers only compensation scheme.
    No paying for kids who break bones, wifes who are at home etc.
    Now, that will save some real money.
    Instead they put out an email, sheesh ,why not get up in front of the media and boast how employers will be better off ?
    Still, it is the thin edge of the wedge toward privatisation of the ACC.
    You Nat types do want it to be privatised do you not ?

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  53. Nomestradamus (2,769 comments) says:

    JC:

    Hands up those who can’t be bothered to comment once it becomes a Nome thread?

    Sadly, I think you’re on to something here. The left-end of the political blogosphere has made no bones about attacking Kiwiblog’s dominance. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Phillip John’s mission (as a serial link-whorer) is to disrupt Kiwiblog threads, to the point where most people just don’t bother commenting. Phillip John’s debating style is to turn up, sprinkle lies and half-truths, then claim victory if Kiwiblog readers don’t bother debating each and every point he raises.

    This one is just for giggles:

    roger nome Says:
    October 21st, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    “By the way roger – if The Standard is such a good website why do you spend so much time here.”

    Simple – I enjoy kicking Tory butt

    I bet Phillip John regrets saying that now!

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  54. PaulL (5,775 comments) says:

    Nomestradamus. We’ve been here before. When the signal to noise ratio gets too low DPF usually comes up with a solution. Last time he introduced moderators for a period until things settled down again. I certainly feel that we are getting close to that point again – not so much in terms of what was getting to be quite offensive behaviour (as opposed to the very robust commentary we are currently getting) – but certainly in terms of some regular contributors feeling that it just isn’t worth the effort.

    In terms of doing something, I wouldn’t ban the Nome. That is not DPF’s style – and it would give the Standard bozos something to gloat about. They are the home of banning, not Kiwiblog. However, I would definitely look at updating the definitions for demerits, and enforcing them more strictly on individuals who have demonstrated that they constantly push the line. Sure, there are other people who occasionally go off topic or make inane comments, and I’d continue to cut them some slack. But, as you say, Nome has reached the point where every single comment is inane or unsupported or disruptive/off topic or flat out trolling.

    So, I’d state clearly that those things are forbidden, I’d create the daily random debate threads more regularly (so Nome has somewhere to go create off topic crap – but where he can also be ignored), and I’d police the comments of a few individuals really closely. If they cannot get back on topic (which Nome used to sort of manage), then they end up with demerits, and banned. Not so hard.

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  55. Inventory2 (9,789 comments) says:

    Ah well, look on the bright side Nostredamus – roger nome has already racked up 40 demerits since his last banning, and we will be free of him for one month in a mere 60 demerits’ time!

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  56. weizguy (116 comments) says:

    So people believe that National’s reintroduction of competition is a good idea?

    - Under the competitive system insurance companies attempted to win clients by charging less than the likely costs of claims
    - Average levies are lower now than they were under competition
    - Accredited insurers (those who accept the full costs of claims and hire a company to manage their claims) decline many more claims.
    - ACC has no need to make a profit – consequently, it only collects what it needs to run the scheme (which means lower levies)
    - Individual risk rating (basing levies on whether an employer has had claims) is poor way of attributing scheme cost – risk rating by group is a better way of ironing out no-fault accidents.

    Competition works in principle. However, I can’t see that this policy will improve anything. Sure, some employers will pay less in premiums, just as some will pay more (the total premiums across the scheme won’t change), what is likely is that employees can have less confidence about cover.

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  57. PaulL (5,775 comments) says:

    weizguy: you assume that the private sector is not more efficient than the public. If you start with that assumption, you will of course conclude that opening the market up to the private sector has no benefit. If you start with the assumption that the private sector will probably both operate at a lower cost, and offer a wider range of choices, then you come to a very different answer.

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  58. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,786 comments) says:

    Good to see the National party ACC policy. Competition is sorely needed in this area. It will be a policy that is relatively easy to implement as the country has already gone down this road before. National will no doubt be introducing many more initiatives to undo the damage that Labour has created during its nine years in power. Chief among the necessary changes will be to eliminate the 39c tax rate. Does National have the stomach for that, or will it simply state that it will review this sensitive tax area upon becoming the new government?

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  59. weizguy (116 comments) says:

    PaulL

    The private sector may more efficient – However, I’m not convinced you can make a profit ($200 Million was it?) from efficiencies alone, particularly while charging less in premiums.

    If competition can offer lower premiums while ensuring the level of cover we have at the moment – great. However, I’m yet to see any evidence of that.

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  60. weizguy (116 comments) says:

    Quick question – what exactly was it about my last post that justify someone giving a thumbs down?

    Anyone?

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  61. PaulL (5,775 comments) says:

    weizguy: as I understand it, nobody will be forced to change provider. If ACC offer better service at a lower cost, then you can stay with them. I don’t see who gets disadvantaged.

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  62. weizguy (116 comments) says:

    Employees do, when insurers offer lower premiums and then accept less claims. Remember that employees don’t have a choice – their employers do. This is what happened the last time – I’m assuming that National is not proposing that each individual employee will choose their own provider.

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  63. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Why would you assume that weizguy?

    I cant see anything wrong with choosing your own accident insurance provider, you do it with your car and house and contents and surgery/health cover.

    OK, OK, nationalise ALL insurance, you’re right. The gummint knows best how to manage insurance on your behalf.

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  64. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    why do i keep seeing the ghost of…and hearing the voice of..

    ..max bradford..

    ..telling us how choice in electricty..would mean we ..the punters..would end up the winners..

    ..with ‘competiton’..bringing us cheaper power..

    um..!..does anyone know why/how bradfords’ assurances turned out to be a ‘crock’..?

    ..and why we should believe the ghost of bradford..?..

    ..over privatising a.c.c…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  65. weizguy (116 comments) says:

    “Why would you assume that weizguy?”

    Because, expat, that is how the Employer account is structured, and that’s how they opened it up to competition last time. It’s the easiest account to open up to competition because it’s administratively easier to manage. One employer – one insurer.

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  66. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    energy prices have risen recently because of max bradford? bad global bully max.

    last time isnt this time. what about kiwisaver.

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  67. Nomestradamus (2,769 comments) says:

    PaulL (8:56) and Inventory2 (8:58):

    Your comments are spot on.

    Weizguy and PaulL (edit: and Expat):

    It’s nice to get back to debating the issues. Weizguy, I think you’ve overlooked this: insurance is ultimately about correctly pricing premiums to reflect the risk assumed. Sure, like any ex ante exercise, it’s a bit like counting clouds in the sky. But that’s why we have actuaries (bless them!) to make informed assessments of these matters, to the extent that one reasonably can. Insurance companies set aside reserve provisions, to reflect the calculated risk, as they’re required to by law.

    Given this, it makes no sense to say (as you do) that “[u]nder the competitive system insurance companies attempted to win clients by charging less than the likely costs of claims”. Two things. First, could you please provide evidence of this? Second, I’d suggest to you that under-charging deliberately would be an illegal practice.

    Your thoughts?

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  68. PaulL (5,775 comments) says:

    Nomestradamus: I’d go further. If some insurance company wants to charge less than the likely cost of claims – excellent. Somewhere some shareholders will be cursing as they lose their money, and wondering why they didn’t take a bit more interest in the management of the company that they own. But if someone is dumb enough to sell me something below cost price, why exactly would I care?

    Sure, for life insurance it’s a risk – they might go broke and my many years of premiums are lost. But for a yearly insurance regime that’s hardly going to happen. Next you’ll be worried that the corner dairy might start selling milk for less than what it costs them to buy it.

    Lowered service is potentially a risk, but let’s be honest – the current ACC service isn’t anything to write home about. Presumably there would be a regulator that specifies minimums, and that regulator would set the minimum based on what the ACC currently provide.

    The choice aspect is the biggest bit for me – not everyone wants or needs the exact same policy. And ACC have be awful at pricing to the actual risk that an employer poses – and particularly poor at rewarding those that go out of their way to avoid workplace accidents. You’d have to accept that any policy that encourages reduction of workplace accidents, rather than just trying to be as good as the industry norm, would be a good thing?

    Phil, what drugs are you on today? This has nothing to do with Max Bradford, and your assertions are wrong. Dealing with them would be way off topic for this thread though.

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  69. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    I was taking the piss Nomestradamus.

    “we have actuaries (bless them!) to make informed assessments of these matters, to the extent that one reasonably can.” – bless indeed!

    However actuaries do also have a tendency to work towards a “what the market will take” pricing model rather than a risk based assessment of premiums. Notwithstanding I do think that workplace insurance should be taken out in the same way that you take out house and contents insurance. There must be shared responsibility between the state and the employers and the employees and this could be by way of tax credits etc but why cant IAG et al be able to provide this cover to both employers and employees?

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  70. clintheine (1,560 comments) says:

    Note that the Unions and Labour are against the opening up, because they are so ideologically opposed to this and yet Business NZ is supporting it. Who do you trust to know what’s best for business? Hmmn.

    Gosh those silly lefties should really get their noses out of commerce.

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  71. Nomestradamus (2,769 comments) says:

    Expat:

    Just to clarify, I wasn’t having a go at you, but rather acknowledging your contributions to the debate :)

    PaulL:

    You might have misconstrued one of my previous comments, as you appear to think I hold a different opinion. I can’t find anything to disagree with in your comment.

    The argument diatribe I read over at The Standard included this:

    National has confirmed it intends to privatise the ACC scheme starting with opening the work account to private competition. This would see private insurers cream off large and low-risk employers with special deals, leaving the taxpayer to shoulder the burden of the rest (which would, in turn, be the basis for privatising of the remainder).

    Apart from the unsurprising reference to privatisation, which is to be expected at The Standard, this completely overlooks risk pricing (my point above). It’s also an implict acknowledgement that some “ACC customers” cross-subsidise others, and apparently any system that moves away from this is a *bad* thing. I think the opposition to National’s policy is more about politics than commercial logic.

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  72. PaulL (5,775 comments) says:

    Sorry Nomestradamus, I should have pointed to someone else from the second para – only the first was directed to you.

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  73. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    In reality, the opposite mantra to that of rogernome and philu, is the true one:

    rogernome and philu, repeat after me, 100 times, there’s a good boy;

    “Free Enterprise Good, State Monopolies Bad”

    What the wise-asses of the Left like philu shouldn’t be allowed to get away with, is any sort of assumption that the energy sector would be in a BETTER state today with 100% state ownership and operation. Hey, health, education, you name it, the longer time goes on, the worse that anything that is run as a monopoly by the state, gets, both in escalating cost and deteriorating outcomes. The longer time goes on, the more Orwellian the pretences of the Left over these issues will get.

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  74. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Nomestradamus

    Thanks, I *thought*, wrongly, that you had identified me as a commie sympathisers…

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  75. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Phil, what drugs are you on today? This has nothing to do with Max Bradford, and your assertions are wrong..”

    (pot is the only drug i use..)

    this has everything to do with the same bullshit max bradford/national slung to ‘sell the idea’ of privatising electricity..

    ..selling/slinging us mug-punters the line that ‘increased choice’ would be to our ‘benefit’..

    (anyone else remember promises of ‘lower prices’..?

    wha’happened..?.

    .max..?..)

    and one ‘fact’ to hold when evaluating nationals’ latest piece of privatisation-bullshit..

    ..is that those aussie insurance companies key wants to invite in..(to carve up the pie)..

    ..in australia..they charge employers levies three times what they pay here..

    ..now..wouldn’t ya think..that in the long run..they would want ‘more equity’ in those trans-tasman charging differences..?

    ..i tend to think that..

    ..and that becomes reason number 53 why nationals plans to privatise a.c.c. will end up costing us all..

    ..(as did bradford/’electricity reform’..)

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  76. Nigel (503 comments) says:

    I”ll vote National, but I will say that I don’t think as a party they have a great record of Privatisation, they are after all the party that broke up Telecom so badly, electricity so well we were facing power cuts this year. Some of that can be blamed on Labour not fixing problems for sure & perhaps this one will work, because I think the saving Money mantra will turn into a red herring & not work out that way, ACC might be inefficient but inefficient enough that private insurers wanting their own profit cut will be more efficient, I have my doubts & whilst there is an incentive for safer workplaces to reduce premiums there is also an incentive to coverup/minimise accidents.
    ACC is a very slippery political ball & I’d rather the emphasis was on reducing taxes, simplifying paperwork for businesses, removing cross subsidies like WFM & taking the Government % of GDP down to 30% ( as a start ).

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  77. freethinker (648 comments) says:

    ACC made more money last year than Telecom – over 1billion – call it a surplus or reserve if you like they still charged more than they spent so it was cash flow positive. If private insurance charges less because they decline more claims than ACC consider this – the claim may have been unjustified thus pushing up ACC premiums. On the other hand the claim was justified and refusal deprives the employer of the employee for longer – employers sdoon notice this and switch – can you do this with ACC?
    90 Day Probation – Nome – Britains Tories introduce 2 years probation – unemployment decreases, productivity increases, Britain becomes 4th largest western type economy. British Labour reduce probationery period to a year – unemployment rises, productivity lowers. France reduces working hours and continues a policy of making it hard and expensive to shed redundant employees – unemployment climbs to 12% and the economy turns to shit. Coincidence or cause and effect – the latter I think. It is costly in time and money to recruit & train so why the hell would an employer want to get rid of a good productive employee, after all he is generating your profits. On the other hand not being able to economically shed redundant labour makes employers reluctant to recruit – bad for Employers/Employees and Tax collectors but good for benefit dispensers.

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  78. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    Nomestradamus: I bet Phillip John regrets saying that now!

    Philip John does not regret saying anything. If he did, he would apologise for the insults he’s thrown at certain women, disabled people and so forth. Instead, if you find those old threads, you will find him defending his deplorable actions. The man has no integrity. Don’t expect regret from him either.

    As to the main point, I am glad to see this. I have a small, home-run business with a zero risk factor. The worst thing I have to do is check email, generate a few license keys and email them off. Yet, I have to pay what I consider ludicrous ACC fees. If this was an open market I would be able to shop around to find a company that would understand this is a low risk business with no harm attached and would charge me accordingly. And not gouge me the way the state monopoly that is so incredibly profitable does.

    But what we’re seeing is a typical socialist aversion to business and successful people. They’re letting their ideological hatreds win over logic.

    philu: (pot is the only drug i use..)

    Like anybody believes a word you say.

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  79. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    whatever..!..scalpa..

    oh no..!..i forgot tea..i use tea as well..

    i’ve replaced heroin and cocaine with pot ‘n tea..

    (my own personal methodone..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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