It was pleasing to see that the Victorian Government have reduced the Fire Service Levy (“FSL”) now that the bungled transition has settled down. Refer to government media release.
As predicted, it shows that when a tax is more broad based and everyone pays their fair share for a service the entire community benefits from, the cost is not so unpalatable. It would be good now if Prof Fells was asked to go and look at how the whole transition went so wrong, why the original rates imposed were so high and if these reduced rates are not still too high.
This, of course, is me just being churlish as I thought it ridiculous to make the appointment in the first place, which was only done to take the pressure off a government who would not admit they got the whole transition wrong and tried to pass the buck back to the insurance industry. In my opinion, the sledge hammer to a walnut approach did not help.
In any event, it is a positive note to see the Victorian Government drop the tax rate. One could be forgiven for thinking there was an election coming up soon!
This aside, most Victorians that are insured are now much better off and I am seeing businesses insure more fully and taking up the all important Business Interruption coverage, as it is now more affordable with the disincentive of high FSL on insurance.
It is a crying shame that the New South Wales government “does not get it” and remove the FSL in their state. As for the Tasmanian Government, they continue to have their head in the sand.