Huge cost of unfair fire bill revealed

The Greens can reveal the huge new average cost to the people of the Balmain electorate from the Government’s new Fire and Emergency Services Levy Bill.

According to an analysis carried out by the Fire Brigade Employees Union, in the electorate of Balmain property owners will have to pay an average property tax of $454 - almost two and a half times the $185 that the Government said would be paid. Some households will pay substantially more.

Commenting on the findings, Jamie Parker, MP for Balmain, said:

“This legislation, recently passed by the government, offers a billion-dollar gift to the big insurance companies. This windfall will be paid for primarily by ordinary homeowners across our area.

This bill removes a tax on insurance companies and transfers it squarely onto ordinary residential property owners. It’s a result the big insurers have been after for years.

Ordinary people are being told that not only should they pay for their home insurance, they should pay a separate tax for the fire brigade to further bolster the profits of insurance companies.

The government has gone out of its way to exclude WestConnex, the private toll road, from this new tax. Not only is it privatising our infrastructure, but it is now giving the owner of that privatised infrastructure a free ride on this new tax.

The shortfall will be made up primarily by residential landowners in Sydney, many of whom are already next to financially crippled by paying their mortgages.

This new law makes homeowners pay 58% of the tax and businesses only 47%, although businesses account for 55% of emergency service callouts and residential properties just 34%. This means that the residential sector will pay almost 60% more than their fair share.

Why are fire services being treated differently to ambulance and police services? Core services including ambulance, police and fire services should be provided by consolidated revenue in New South Wales, and paid for largely by the insurance companies, who get the benefit of these services.”

ENDS

More info: 9660 7586


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  • commented 2017-05-26 16:39:10 +1000
    Why should bed and breakfast owners pay this fee plus commercial water rates when airbnb’s do not. At least bed and breakfast operators live onsite if a fire does occur throughout the night.
  • commented 2017-05-15 14:42:00 +1000
    This is disgraceful, not only will the Government get (estimate) $ Billions, but no concessions for pensioners.
    As a pensioner I thought $47.80 on my insurance was reasonable but according to the FESL calculator I will now have to pay $279. In my street alone 27 residential properties x $279 = $7812.
    Has the Government released what the eventual revenue will be?
    This will be the richest FESL in the world.
    I would wager there will be a way for the more affluent in our society not to pay this exorbitant rise.
    About time all was revealed

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