Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More privatisation

More controversial policy dumped just before xmas so it can be buried in the holiday "silly season": the government is planning to privatise ACC by opening the workforce market to competition from foreign insurance companies. A 2008 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (since sanitised from ACC's website, but you can read it here) found that there would be absolutely no benefit to New Zealanders from this move. But Australian insurers (including John Key's old firm, Merrill Lynch) will benefit by an estimated $200 million. That's $200 million in pure wealth transfer, in the form of higher premiums, denied claims and worse service, that we will pay for the benefit of John Key's rich mates. And people wonder why I regard privatisations as inherently corrupt...

Last time National did this, in the 90's, Labour reversed it the moment they got into government. I expect them to do the same this time. The evidence shows that ACC is best left to the state, rather than the private insurance industry. And if Aussie insurers think differently, they can expect to lose their money.