Labour are squealing over the $1 billion ACC blowout that they kept secret. NZPA reports:
Labour’s ACC spokesman, David Parker, said today Mr Key’s assertions were wrong and the Government was trying to divert attention from its plans to privatise ACC.
You always know someone is cornered when they start trying to distract from the issue by raising the nasty bogeyman hiding under the bed of privatisation.
He said he had spoken to former ACC minister Maryan Street who denied knowing any details of the shortfall until October, when she immediately told former finance minister Michael Cullen and the Treasury.
Note her careful use of words – denied knowing the details. She was informed as far back as May of the blowout, just not the exact figure.
Mr Parker said officials told ministers at the time it would be improper for the extra money to be authorised during the election campaign.
And Parker also misses the point. Even if they did not authorise the extra money, they could have disclosed the blowout voluntarily. That is the point – they knew PREFU was lacking a very significant item. And it is not as if there is any choice about the bailout – the Government can’t simply chooise to stop paying out ACC claims. If the blowout had been in welfare, then the adjustment would have been automatically reflected in forecasts.
It is also debatable if it was improper for the Government to approve funding the shortfall. They approved $150 billion depost guarantee during the election, so what is $297 million compared to that? And again this wasn’t some sort of discretionary expenditure such as deciding to build a new road – it was an obligation.
“There’s some really alarmist language being used around this … it’s 6 per cent of the ACC budget, it’s been blown out of all proportion.”
And this shows why they are unfit to be given the fiscal pursestrings again. David Parker saying that $1 billion over three years is nothing to be alarmed about. Think about how many hip operations, how many exra nurses, how many more computers in schools that would buy?
And his 6% of ACC budget is misleading, as the blowout is in one fund and it is around a 25% blowout in that fund. But hey we now know Labour don’t think 25% blowouts to the tune of a million dollars are worth worrying about, let alone telling anyone about.Tags: ACC, David Parker, Labour, Maryan Street