The Herald reports:

The Accident Compensation Corporation will end a health and safety training programme it said today after activist group the Taxpayers Union highlighted almost $20 million in spending on the training which generated few benefits.

The union today released documents detailing the corporation’s spending since 2003 on the programme to train employees in health and safety practices.

Beginning in 2003, the money was paid to the Council of Trade Unions (CTU), employers’ group Business NZ and private training provider Impac Services.

However the documents showed the $19 million spent “did little, if anything, to reduce workplace accidents”, Taxpayers Union executive director Jordan Williams said.

The release and detailed data from the Taxpayers Union is here. What is staggering is that even if you make the incredibly generous assumption that the training resulted in a 50% reduction in workplace accidents in sites visited (and of course it did not), then it is still wasting 84 cents in the dollar.  The benefits are just 16 cents for every dollar spent, even under the most generous assumptions.

It should have stopped years ago.

ACC analysis found that over the time the programme was working there was a reduction in claims even in workplaces where no safety or workplace activity has occurred.

The analysis suggested that even if the training was responsible for half of the reduction in accidents, at best only 16c in every $1 spent did any good, or in other words, 84c in every $1 was being wasted.

The documents reveal that Business NZ and the CTU worked together with ACC to create the venture and doubts about the value of the scheme had existed since at least 2008.

“Business NZ and the CTU have created a nice little earner for themselves”, said Mr Williams.

“It’s a disgraceful example of big corporate and union welfare chewing through taxpayer cash.”

There are many many organisations out there receiving taxpayer funding, and not producing enough benefits to justify it.  It’s good that ACC has decided to put a stop to this one, saving employees and employers money.

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