Emergency Services Levy – the added cost to insurance
A few weeks ago when I was watching the disturbing photographs of the bush fires in Queensland and New South Wales they showed footage of the Premier of New South Wales meeting with volunteer fire fighters.
I wanted to post something at the time, but did not feel it appropriate when people’s lives and homes were at risk, but the thought crossed my mind. How can the Premier look the volunteers in the eye knowing that there insurance premiums are significantly increased as a result of her back flip on the Emergency Services Levy?
With weather events being one of the major contributing factors to the significant increase in insurance premiums we have seen over the past 12 months, we see the Emergency Services Levy in New South Wales, the only mainland state to retain this antiquated tax at unsustainable levels.
Currently they sit at:
- Home / Residential 15%
- ISR / Fire 30%
- Motor 1.5%
- Personal Valuables 3.7%
- Watercraft 0.40%
This levy is not only charged on the base insurance premium but also the GST. There is a further state government tax, Stamp Duty which is 10% on the premium the GST, and the Emergency Services Levy. Triple tax on a service designed to protect the community and the economy. This is an absolute disgrace.
As I have repeatedly stated, we need well funded, well equipped and well trained emergency services. That is a given.
The key issue is, if all of us in the community benefit from the services then all of us in the community should contribute fairly. It should not be left to the prudent and risk averse who insure.
The high cost of insurance coupled with all these taxes and the sheer cost of collecting the taxes across so many classes of general insurance for the government is making insurance less and less affordable for many Australians.
It is about time the New South Wales Government did the right thing by their constituents and fixed this problem.
It is only the start of the summer bush fire season and how many people will be putting their lives at risk to protect their property that they have not been able to afford to insure or insure fully?