In 1974 when the Tariff ceased to exist, the fire service component of insurance premiums was 3%. In rural Victoria it has now reached 68%. This, of course, causes more people to under-insure or not insure and in turn, to cover the increasing cost of the fire service, the fire service levy continues to go up. The spiralling effect goes on and on and the question then arises, at what point will somebody outside the insurance industry see that this is not good for the economy or the community?
To show the effects over the past few years, I refer you to the attached graphs showing how the fire service levy in New South Wales and Victoria has dramatically increased.
Hopefully the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission will look at the funding of the brigades and recommend changes to the funding. This of course is no guarantee that government will act. The HIH and Canberra Bushfire Royal Commissions made such recommendations on funding and were completely ignored by government. Let us hope there are sufficient statespersons among the politicians to do the right thing.
I end with my favourite definition of a statesman:
"A politician thinks about the next elections — the statesman thinks about the next generations."
James Freeman Clarke.
In this format, I am only able to attach the Victorian stats. If anyone would like a similar chart for the NSW Fire Service Taxes, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.