New Zealand Renationalizes Workplace Accident Insurance

Employers are angry with New Zealand's Labour-led government of Prime Minister Helen Clark for renationalizing workplace accident insurance on Apr. 1. The insurance, compulsory for all employers and self-employed individuals, was a state-run monopoly until the administration of former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley opened it to private-sector competition last year. Premiums fell, and employers fear they now will rise again due to public-sector inefficiency. Clark argues that a sole provider is more efficient; the private-sector insurers were discounting premiums to seize market share and eventually would have raised them higher than before.

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