I fully support the review of Fire Service Levy in NZ

I fully support the review of Fire Service Levy in NZ

It was a nice way to end a tough week to read in InsuranceNEWS that the New Zealand Government is looking at alternatives to having the fire service levy heavily funded by insurance.

There is absolutely no doubt that people buy less insurance when the price goes up. We saw it here in Victoria before the Black Saturday bush fires, in North Queensland due to premium increases and a hike in Queensland State Government Stamp Duty and most recently in the hardening market.

As we saw with the unbelievable and disgraceful about face at the 11th hour in New South Wales, this fight is not over until the legislation is passed.

The Insurance Council in New Zealand are doing a great job in fighting the good fight and I congratulate Tim Grafton and his team and the ICNZ board.

I would make one point though. It is not just 4 states here in Australia. It is also the 2 Territories and even Tasmania has removed it from home and contents. Elsewhere in the world such as the UK and US it has been gone for long before I was born.

My position remains that unlike smoking or alcohol use, which puts a burden on the government in the area of health care, insurance protects communities and the economy. Insurance should not be taxed like tobacco or alcohol. Every one in the community benefits from a well funded, well trained and well run emergency services. As such all in the community should bear their fair contribution to the cost, not just that prudent and risk averse to insure.

I did read with interest that the existing New South Wales Government is likely to be voted out at the upcoming election. Solely on their back flip on not removing the Emergency Services Levy, I do not think they deserve to remain in office.

As a final thought maybe they would like to take Prof. Allan Fels AO on to help them. No, I like our Kiwi brothers and sisters far too much to foist his nonsense on to them as much as I would like to see the end of his insurance industry bashing here 🙂

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