Update on NSW emergency services levy

The NSW Parliament will be holding a public hearing to examine the funding of the emergency services on 13 August 2018.

The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) provided a submission to this inquiry earlier this year, and pointed out all the problems and inequities arising out of the levy on insurance premiums.

A submission late last year stated the important role insurance brokers play in Australia and then went on to say that property owners who insure property located in New South Wales pay three taxes and charges to the Federal and State Governments which have been described as a “tax on a tax on a tax”.

The NSW government had planned to scrap the emergency services levy (ESL) on insurance premiums from July last year and instead impose a new fee alongside council rates based on the value of property owners’ land. But announced an indefinite delay to the introduction of the ESL property levy, and continue the ESL on insurance premiums in May.

All mainland States and Territories, other than New South Wales, have abolished their fire and emergency services levies, with Victoria being the most recent in 2013, following strong recommendations from the Victorian Bush Fire Royal Commission. The Australian Capital Territory has taken one step further and has abolished stamp duty on insurance policies in that jurisdiction.

With the resumption of the levy for the 2017/2018 financial year and beyond, NSW property owners are now paying significantly more for their property insurance than they did in the first half of 2017.

NIBA has sought an opportunity to address the Parliamentary inquiry in August.