The proposed opening up to competition of the ACC work account ( the part paid by employers for workplace accidents) is the first step in the privatisation of the state run accident insurance scheme.  The Minister of ACC, Nick Smith, is scaremongering when he says that the ACC scheme is financially unsustainable.  Such “smoke and mirror” statements by Nick Smith bears no serious scrutiny as the basic fact that more is collected in levies than is paid out!  To qualify this ACC has $11 billion in reserves and last year collected $1 billion more than it spent on claims. It is interesting to note that Merrill Lynch, the Prime Minister's former employer, released a report prior to the 2008 general election explaining that the Australian insurance companies stand to profit by up to $200 million a year if it was sold off!

Ironically, the state run ACC scheme is considered to be a world beater! New Zealanders gave up the right to sue in return for good and fair treatment of injured members of the community by the state.  The National government and it coalition partners of Act and Māori Parties are ideologically opposed to this and hence the zealous move to privatise the scheme.

The Labour Party has stated that when re-elected back into power it will re-nationalise ACC and not pay compensation in a similar manner to what it did back in 1999, shortly after the previous National government privatised it.

This is a good starting point of a campaign and it has given the carpet bagging private insurance companies the jitters.  The Labour Party and the CTU need to organise a more generalised campaign to save ACC from privatisation.  One that galvanises all the vulnerable people at risk behind the banner of the labour movement and kick the Nats out of government for good.

This requires genuine socialist policies and perspectives.  Hopefully, these are the core values that Phil Goff spoke vaguely about at Labour Party conference. Such a policy of renationalisation of ACC should be a starting point of an incoming Labour government not an end point.  The socialisation of the economy is needed to guarantee long lasting reforms to workers.