|David Shoebridge MLC|
Proposed changes by the O'Farrell government to the way Emergency Services are funded will see inequitable cost-shifting from insurance companies to home owners, says Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge.
At a press conference this morning, FBEU Secretary Jim Casey presented David with a duffel bag full of submissions to the Emergency Services Minister, as well as a mock cheque for $700 million from the NSW government to insurance companies. Pictures online here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/
"Barry O'Farrell's first instinct is to always deliver for big business and this proposal could see business getting a $250 million a year tax break paid for by long-suffering householders," Mr Shoebridge said.
"Replacing the insurance levy with an inequitable and poorly-targeted property tax is not a step forward. It will significantly shift the cost burden from businesses on to home owners.
"Such a model is not applied to the NSW Police, and it should not be applied to Fire and Rescue, the State Emergency Service or the Rural Fire Service.
"Under the government's proposal, the average home-owner could be paying a new tax of $267 a year, to deliver increased profits to insurers and businesses.
"If the O'Farrell government is intending on levying a Tony Abbott style "great big new tax", they should at least have the courage to collect it themselves and not force local government to do their dirty work.
"The current system reflects the reality that insurance companies directly benefit from Emergency Services, who prevent or minimise damage to insured properties and therefore reduce payouts by insurers.
"The Greens NSW do not support an inequitable broad-based property tax as a funding model for Emergency Services," Mr Shoebridge said.