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Brokers slam ‘cynical’ new insurance tax
NIBA Media Release, 12 November 2008

The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) has branded yesterday’s imposition of an additional tax on insurance policyholders in New South Wales to fund the State Emergency Service as cynical and discriminatory.

NIBA Chief Executive Noel Pettersen said today the announcement in the NSW mini-budget of an additional $10 tax on general insurance policies comes just a few weeks after the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) recommended drastic changes to the fire services levy collection system and sharp reductions in all taxes on insurance policies.

“The IPART Review criticised taxes on insurance as a disincentive to properly insure, and said the fire services levy system is highly inefficient,” Mr Pettersen said. “The NSW Government’s response has been to add yet another tax on top of the three already added to every premium, this time to fund the SES.

“The NSW Government can’t justify this additional impost on policyholders,” he said. “They already pay world record-level insurance taxes of up to 40 cents in the dollar for their homes and 60 cents in the dollar for their businesses.

“If you don’t insure, you don’t pay for the upkeep of the emergency services and you won’t have to pay this tax,” he said. “There is no way the state can justify this discriminatory tax that will further tempt people to risk their future and underinsure or not insure at all.”

ENDS

For further information contact Noel Pettersen on 02 9459 4300 or visit www.niba.com.au/tax

NIBA is an independent industry association representing 500 firms and more than 2600 intermediaries, who handle almost 90% of the commercial insurance transacted in Australia. Brokers play a major role in insurance distribution, handling $10 billion in premiums annually and placing around half of Australia’s total insurance business.