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NIBA steps up push for ESL removal

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The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) has launched a NSW Emergency Services Levy (ESL) Hub, ramping up the industry’s efforts to have the contentious tax removed.

Included in the public database is a factsheet on how the levy unfairly penalises households and businesses who take up property insurance as well as a template letter they can use to air their concerns to state MPs.

NIBA says the hub was created in response to members’ feedback that clients do not understand the levy and its impact on insurance cost.

“To help brokers educate clients about the ESL and its impacts on insurance affordability NIBA has created the [hub],” the association says in a statement.. “Here members can access factsheets to help explain the levy to their clients.”

NIBA says it encourages members and clients to take their concerns about the tax to MPs using the template letter provided.

“Insurance affordability is an issue that affects all of us [amd] together we can ensure that our voice to government is heard,” NIBA said.

The NIBA factsheet says the cost of NSW property insurance in some cases can increase by up to 70% when the ESL, stamp duty, GST plus government taxes and levies are factored in.

NIBA and the Insurance Council of Australia have long campaigned for the ESL to be replaced with a broad-based property tax. NSW is the only mainland state to use an insurance-funding model to pay for its fire and emergency services.

The ESL was scheduled to be axed in 2017, but the NSW Government backtracked suddenly without consulting insurers and other stakeholders.

Click here for the Emergency Services Levy Hub.