This means ACC will be an election issue in 2011.
Labour in 2011 will be trying to distance itself from the Labour Government kicked out of office in 2008. It will be trying to appear as fiscally competent. And they have now made into an election issue, what Labour did to ACC in Government.
Matthew Hooton is only slightly exaggerating when he says there should have been prosecutions. The breach of the Public Finance Act is bad enough, as is the $4.8 billion blowout in liabilities. But what most damns Labour is the timeline of decisions which show in election year they time and time again voted to increase benefits and coverage, while also voting to reduce or not increase levies.
National will be able to slay Labour, reminding them of this. There is simply no defence. Labour just had the Board assume a rate of return on investments that professional advisors said was “heroic” and they don’t mean that in a good way.
I fully expect Labour to oppose National’s changes – that is the job of the Opposition. But to have promised to repeal them all, if they win the next election, is the blunder as it will put them in the dock for what they did in 2007 and 2008. The public won’t get into the details – they will just hear National time and time again repeat “broke the Public Finance Act, $4.8 billion blowout, costs of new coverage areas were ten times what Labour projected, dropped levies while increasing costs etc etc”. It will be a slaughter.
The other thing Labour have not caught on to, is that the public do not want levies to go up. They will be campaigning on a policy of making employees, and motorists pay even more for ACC. Dumb, dumb, dumb.