Pleasing to see The Age pick up the issue of Fire Service Levy
I originally wrote to The Age back on the 6th May and heard nothing till yesterday 19th June when I was interviewed for around 30 minutes by reporter Ms Madeleine Heffernan. She had also spoken with the Victoria Farmers Federation prior to me and wanted to seek information on the history and effect of the fire service levy.
She advised me the concerning news that the Victorian Government had delayed the introduction of the legislation till August. While I did not express it to the reporter at the time, I was not surprised as with all community outrage over the overcharging of water the last thing any government would want is a second backlash over insurance taxes making insurance unaffordable coupled with the fact that it is double charging.
What is my greatest concern is that having completely messed up the transition of the fire service levy from insurance to property rates, on top of the water rates debacle, the government may well do a complete back flip and delay the introduction even longer. The problem is that many if not all insurers have set their levy, with some going to the trouble and expense of changing their product disclosure statement (“PDS”) to cope with the transition.
The simple fact is the government campaigned heavily on this issue at the last election. They would be foolhardy in the extreme to delay the legislation any longer. What would be smart would be to bring in the move to first January 2013 onto property rates and then use the 6 months to wind back the cost on insurance and slowly move it up on rates so it is much fairer, particularly to those home and business owners whose policy falls due in the first half of the 2013 calendar year. This is not the perfect answer and is best described as a bandaid solution but it would help home owners, business operators and the insurance industry. Like so many I will be so happy when this terrible tax is removed from insurance and people can afford to be insured as they should be. Hopefully, I am just worrying too much and the delay is nothing more than the government not having the legislation ready.
This whole debarcle should be regarded by the New South Wales Government as a great lessons learned on just how not to do the transition of the tax when they remove FSL in their state.
I attach a copy of Ms Heffernan’s article and I thank her sincerely for bringing the issue to the public’s attention. The Victorian Farmer’s Federation should likewise be thanked for having the influence to get the matter considered by this prestigious media outlet.
fire-levy-abolition-delay-20120619-20m2f. A link to the article can be found at http://www.theage.com.au/business/fire-levy-abolition-delay-20120619-20m2f.html
To learn more about the tax rates on insurance in your area or to get a free copy of a brochure that explains the issue please go to www.NoTaxOnInsurance.com.au