DOWN TO THE DOCTOR’S: ACC and other bottomless troughs
Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath takes his irreverent weekly look at some of the past week’s headlines.
1. Motorcyclists plot protest rides against big rises in levies - Massive proposed rises in ACC levies will, I predict, provoke an equal and opposite reaction from potential victims.
Motorcyclists around the country are girding their loins for a battle with the grey ones and their political masters. It’s bad enough that competition in the accident insurance market is outlawed, but premium increases of over 200% are intolerable. Imagine the outcry from our socialists if the private sector upped their charges to this degree. The silence from our coterie of left-wing state-worshipping political commentators is very telling.
One thing is for sure: the Libertarianz Party will be there to support the motorcycle clubs and organisations that are fighting this usurious, arbitrary and inflationary move to try and save ACC’s bottom line.
Wake up, guys - ACC cannot be salvaged; public servants cannot manage corporations unless they have a club with which to beat taxpayers when the finances start to look shaky. A lot of New Zealanders had no choice but to use ACC and are now at its mercy as their sole source of income protection and treatment funding following accidental injury.
If the accident insurance industry was privatised, or even just opened up to competition, these people could have their claims transferred to a private insurer of their choice, with bankrolling of their future costs from asset sales.
Starting with the sale of the building in which ACC is housed, if it is state-owned.
2. Rugby TV bid to cost well under $5m - PM – That’s great news, John. You should be able to fund it out of your own pocket and then reclaim it from rugby fans via pay-per-view.
If these matches are important to enough people, they will fork out money to watch them. People who hate rugby and people with no interest in rugby should not have to subsidise those who do have an interest.
Why there is even a Minister for the Rugby World Cup is beyond me. But the farcical situation of the taxpayer having to pay two competing broadcasters in a bidding war is proof that we, the people, are the losers in this political game. And always will be, as long as people like John Key and Trevor Mallard think certain sports are so important that people should be forced at gunpoint to pay to have them broadcasted live on TV.
Can I assume these rugby games are so important that New Zealanders will be sent home from school and from work, and compelled to watch them?
3. Secret ACC plan to charge all victims $100 – This would be a good idea if ACC was a private insurer that one could join voluntarily. It isn’t: it’s a coercive government monopoly. There is no choice about using ACC; the state press-gangs New Zealanders into paying for its accident insurance scheme with veiled but very real threats of asset seizure and/or imprisonment. Any attempt to run ACC along corporate lines is just more coercive bullying.
In a privately-run insurance company, introduction of a surcharge should result in a commensurate reduction in the cost of premiums. But ACC have just indicated they will be hiking – not reducing - its fees.
The government should stop pretending it can run a viable insurance company. ACC is broke. Close it down, and let organisations who know what they’re doing compete for custom in a free and open market.
See y’all next week!