Policyholders hit by new insurance levy

A TAX to fund the SES, forcing insurance brokers to act as sheriffs and drag in revenue for the coffers of the struggling NSW Government, has been slammed as another unfair imposition on already high insurance premiums.

The Government imposed the 2 per cent levy on commercial and residential insurance policy premiums in its November mini-Budget.

The National Insurance Brokers' Association (NIBA) and the financial industry, including a Lismore-based financial specialist, have all criticised the move.

Argument over controversial insurance levies, like the Fire Services levy, led to a heated exchange between Police Minister Tony Kelly and NIBA lobbyists at a meeting with association members, with the Minister threatening to 'Taser' his critics.

North Coast Financial Services Director Tim Parry said although details were still unclear, the new tax was wrong because a vital agency like the SES should have government funding or be funded by the whole community.

“The Government is simply dropping its funding, washing its hands of the SES and letting it be funded mainly by commercial insurance premiums,” Mr Parry said.

He said that for four decades insurance premiums had contributed a NSW Fire Services levy to help pay for fire-fighting operations.



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