Friday, August 24, 2012

O’Farrell must not let insurance companies off the hook «

Jun 13, 2012
Paul Doughty

O’Farrell must not let insurance companies off the hook

The Fire Brigade Employees’ Union has called on the State Government to guarantee it is not letting insurance companies off the hook for funding the State’s fire service.

Under current arrangements, FRNSW gets 75% of its funding from a levy on the insurance industry. The remaining 25% is split between state and local government.

But in his budget speech today, the Treasurer refers to “reviewing the funding arrangements for fire and emergency services.”

FBEU Secretary, Jim Casey, said any move to shift the funding burden from insurance companies to the broader community would be vigorously resisted.

“At a time when the Government is crying poor, we would be alarmed at any move to give the insurance companies a free kick by cutting the fire levy,” Mr Casey said.

“The Government is already trying to boost the profits of big insurers through changes to workers compensation. If they try the same trick with the fire levy, we will fight it tooth and nail.

“Unfortunately, this Government has form when it comes to delivering sops to the big end of town. We look forward to the Treasurer’s discussion paper on this issue and hope to be pleasantly surprised by its recommendations.”

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