NIBA submission to NSW Department of Treasury 2020 Small Business Strategy

NIBA CEO Dallas Booth has said that the Association has made a submission to the NSW Treasury Small Business Strategy 2020: Discussion Paper highlighting the impact of workers compensation and the Emergency Services Levy on small businesses.

NIBA has stated that the Association has two main areas of concern that significantly impact small business owners in NSW, the levying of emergency services funding on general insurance premiums and workers compensation.

The NSW Treasury is seeking feedback on issues that affect small businesses to inform a refresh of the NSW Small Business Strategy and the NIBA submission details the unfair burden placed on business owners to fund the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) and the incentive the fees provide to migrate away from traditional insurance mechanisms.

The submission categorically states that the current model for funding NSW emergency services places an unfair burden on responsible business owners who take out insurance to cover themselves and their business operations if a major loss occurs, “The combination of GST, stamp duty and the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) increases the cost of property insurance by up to 70 per cent for NSW small businesses. This ‘tax on a tax on a tax’ can have unfortunate and undesirable consequences for small business owners.”

According to the Association, insurance brokers are regularly arranging sub-optimal insurance cover for their small business clients, because of the impact of these charges on the cost of property insurance in NSW. In some cases, the high cost of insuring their business results in business owners forgoing insurance entirely. Many examples have been publicised in recent months of businesses on the South Coast of NSW having insufficient or no insurance cover for losses sustained as a result of the bushfires.

The submission calls on government to change to a fairer more broad-based property levy such as is used to fund fire services in Victoria. It also highlights long standing issues with the operation of the NSW workers compensation scheme, which NIBA believes could result in higher premiums for small business owners and poorer outcomes for injured workers.

You can access the complete submission on the NIBA website.