The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) has slammed the Victorian Government over its “extreme” level of insurance taxes in a submission to a state parliamentary committee.

The Victorian Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee, which comprises members of both state houses of parliament and the three major parties, has launched an inquiry into state tax and debt that will examine the effect of higher stamp duty on jobs, small business, state competitiveness, sustainability and development.

NIBA has used the example of the Victorian bushfires to get across its message that insurance stamp duty and the fire services levy promote underinsurance and are in dire need of reform.

“Clearly there is in Victoria a very large section of the public that no longer protect their property with insurance,” CEO Noel Pettersen said in the submission.

“Not only do these people risk financial ruin and are a potential Government burden, they do not make the appropriate contribution to funding the fire services.”

Mr Pettersen called for the abolition of the Victorian fire services levy in favour of a property-based revenue model consistent with other states such as SA and WA.

NIBA recommends that stamp duty also be phased out eventually.

The NIBA submission claims insurance taxes contributed 9.4% of Victoria’s total tax take in 2006/07, compared to an average across all the states of 7.6%.

An Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) spokesman said ICA will also file a submission to the inquiry, but the report is not yet available.

The inquiry will deliver an interim report by February 28 ahead of a final report in September next year.