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#ICA and NSW fire union #FBEU clash on emergency services funding via: #NoNewTax #NSWpol

ICA and NSW fire union clash on emergency services funding

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has rejected claims that reforming the funding of emergency services in NSW will “boost the profits of big insurance companies” at the expense of families.

The claim was made by the NSW Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (FBEU), which has launched an advertising campaign opposing the proposed funding reforms.

NSW emergency services are currently 75% funded by an emergency services levy (ESL) on home and contents insurance policies, but the state government is consulting on plans to fund them through council rates instead.

ICA CEO Rob Whelan says the ESL is an “unfair, inefficient and inequitable” tax on householders who have taken out insurance, subsidising about 810,000 households that do not have building or contents cover.

But NSW FBEU State Secretary Jim Casey says if the change is adopted it will give insurance companies up to $700 million in extra profits.

Mr Whelan says the current system does not benefit insurers. “In fact, the additional cost is a disincentive for households to purchase insurance.

“The removal of the ESL on insurance premiums will lead to significantly cheaper home and contents policies in NSW,” he said.

The union argues the current system is truly “user pays” because insurance companies are the main beneficiaries of a strong fire service, which “saves them billions in insurance claims”.

With Victoria moving to a property-based funding model for its fire services, NSW and Tasmania are the only states to retain a levy on home insurance.

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird says nothing has been decided, with responses to the Funding Our Emergency Services discussion paper due by next Monday.

via ICA and NSW fire union clash on emergency services funding – Local – Insurance News – insuranceNEWS.com.au.

About Darin Sullivan (1967 Articles)
President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and a professional firefighter with more than 25 years’ experience. Father of two daughters, he lives and works on the NSW South Coast, Australia. He is a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around him. He is a Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and works with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist he has long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. Now a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and has decades of experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. He is passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. Darin is also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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