As readers will know, LMI have been actively advocating for the removal of fire services levies on insurance premiums for over 20 years, including the creation of the website NoTaxOnInsurance.com.au in 2006, and submitting a detailed submission to the Black Saturday Royal Commission.
Every independent enquiry into this narrow-based tax shows that it is unfair and penalises those that insure fully, while on the other side of the coin, encourages under insurance or non-insurance due to the added cost of insurance.
This triple tax on insurance, a product that has increased in cost faster than the rate of inflation for many years, makes insurance even more unaffordable for many home and business owners.
At a time when there is clearly an increasing risk of natural peril losses it is more important than ever that government to do what they can to encourage home and business owners to insure, so that they themselves, and in the case of businesses the investors, the employees, communities and our economy, are protected with insurance rather than rely on government handouts which have proved to be woefully inadequate.
Queensland was the first to remove fire service levies way back in 1986 with the most recent being Victoria, but only after the tragic Black Saturday Bush Fires in 2009. How many people perished defending their uninsured property, we will never know.
Today 13 years after Victoria, the Tasmanian government has finally seen the light and have pledged to remove the tax. This is great news for the people of Tasmania. The tax was only on business insurance with the tax on home and contents already abolished.
This will make property and business interruption insurance cheaper in Tasmania, not just by the Fire Service Levy but the government taxes applied to it.
Everyone benefits from a well funded and trained fire and emergency service and everyone ought to be paying their fair share, not just those that insure.
With Tasmania finally seeing the light it only leaves New South Wales, who had agreed to remove their Emergency Services Levy on insurance only to change their mind 6 weeks out from start date, left with this insidious unfair tax.
We urge the New South Wales to follow Tasmania and remove the Emergency Services Tax immediately.