Substantial increase for the NSW Emergency Services Levy

As previously speculated, the NSW Budget has announced a significant increase in the amounts to be collected by the Emergency Services Levy (ESL).

For the 2019/2020 financial year, the ESL levy will raise $895 million, a 14 per cent increase (or $110 million) increase on the amount raised during 2018/2019.

As a further challenge for insurance policyholders, the Budget Papers indicate there will be a further 22 per cent increase in the ESL levy for the 2020/2021 financial year, increasing the levy to $1,094 million.

NIBA CEO Dallas Booth said this is a massive burden being carried by responsible property owners who take out insurance to cover themselves if a major loss occurs.

“Every independent examination of this levy since the HIH Royal Commission has recommended its abolition. It is totally unfair and inequitable that the emergency services are funded by insurance policyholders, and not by property owners more broadly.

“The fire and other emergency services do a fantastic job. They respond to all calls for help, not just from those who have insurance policies.”

In addition to the Emergency Services Levy contributions, the State Budget also indicated the Government will receive over $1 billion in stamp duty revenue on insurance policies. Booth said,  “Insurance helps people recover from an unexpected and possibly very expensive loss.  Insurance should be encouraged, not taxed as if it was doing harm in the community.”

NIBA is seeking a meeting with the NSW Treasurer to press these concerns on behalf of its members and their clients.