Emergency Services Funding
The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) recognises the invaluable role played by our state fire and emergency services. Well-funded fire and emergency services are paramount to state governments’ ability to respond to natural disasters. With Australia predicted to experience more frequent and extreme weather events over the coming years it is vital that these are funded in the most efficient way possible to ensure our emergency services are able to adequately respond to the increasing demands for their assistance.
Insurance-based taxes have a distortionary effect on the market, artificially inflating premiums and discouraging policyholders from appropriately insuring their risks. As businesses become more price-sensitive, these taxes serve as an incentive to abandon traditional risk insurance models in favour of alternative mechanisms that do not attract these taxes.
These alternative mechanisms allow businesses to continue enjoying the benefits of the state fire and emergency services without contributing to their funding. In New South Wales this increases the financial burden on remaining policyholders while in Tasmania it decreases the funding available to these vital services.
New South Wales and Tasmania are the only two remaining states to fund their fire and emergency services using this model, with other states abandoning the insurance-based funding model due to its inequitable nature. NIBA has written to both the New South Wales and Tasmanian government urging them to abolish insurance-based levies in favour of a fairer property-based model.
NIBA encourages its members to use the provided resources to engage with their local state MP on this issue and to share these resources with any interested clients.