Dr Allan Manning of the LMI Group and International President of the International Institute of Claims Preparers spoke today at the Zurich Zenith Forum on the topic of Fire Service Levies.

The point was stressed that the levy includes over $100 million of capital expenditure that will benefit all Victorians for 20 years or more and yet the insurance industry and more importantly their clients, the prudent risk averse among the community have to fund 100% of this capital expenditure in addition to the operating expenses, a total of over $440 million in one year. It is completely unjust on any measure.

It is particularly galling that the National Party which campaigned so heavily on the subject of Fire Service Levy in the rural area of Victoria to unseat the Labor Government have increased the levy and see nothing wrong with having this last big bite out of the insuring public before the tax is removed.

Faced with 2 fire seasons and government taxes making insurance 120% more expensive than it ought to be during a period where insurers have to increase their rates to recoup the huge losses from the massive natural catastrophes will make insurance unaffordable to many Australians.

Any business failure caused by fire or other insurable peril where there is inadequate or no insurance can be sheeted directly back to this governments action on Fire Service Levy. Worst still where people stay back to protect their uninsured property and perish. How many lifes have to be lost and Royal Commission held before government come to their senses.

While in the transition phase at the very least government must in good conscience remove the burden of capital expenditure from the insuring public.

Manning is speaking at the NIBA Conference in Sydney this coming Monday, the ANZIIF Regional Conference in Albury and a series of lectures around Victoria is being planned.