Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Change Required to Unfair Insurance-based Fire Service Levy

Urgent Change Required to Unfair Insurance-based Fire Service Levy


The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) is recommending a fairer way of funding the fire service to better reflect the public good it provides for all New Zealanders.

In reports commissioned by the Insurance Council of New Zealand, the NZIER has recommended moving the funding of the fire service from insurance-based levies to property-value based levies for both non-commercial (residential and lifestyle) and real commercial property to general taxation.

The NZIER recommendations join a mounting body of expert opinion that funding the fire service through a levy on insurance premiums is unfair, outdated and out-of-step with the rest of the world.

ICNZ Chief Executive Tim Grafton says: “No-one would expect the police force to be funded through their insurance premiums yet the fire service provides a public good that is collected by insurance companies for the benefit for all New Zealanders, including the uninsured or under-insured.”

ICNZ says funding the service from general taxation would also better reflect the diverse role the fire service plays, which often has little to do with putting out fires, for example rescuing victims of serious road accidents or dealing with chemical spills.

“It’s time to change the way the fire service is funded to better reflect the work it does, the public good it provides and ensure that its costs are fairly met by all who benefit.

“While there is still a lack of political urgency for changes to the funding of the fire service, we will be making strong representations to Government after the election," says Mr Grafton.

The NZIER reports note that across the Tasman, Australian States have successively moved from insurance-based levies to property-based levies to fund their fire and emergency services.

The last mainland state (New South Wales) with an insurance-based levy has completed its public consultation and is observing the outcome of the recent change to a property-based levy in Victoria before implementing similar changes. The two Australian Territories fund their fire and emergency services from government consolidated revenue.

NZIER recommends from their current analysis that the following regimes be applied, based on either the capital value or the value of improvements of properties:

· for non-commercial property, a single rate levy on property value up to a fixed cap (either $200,000 value of improvements or $500,000 capital value)

· for commercial property, a dual-rate abating levy, with an initial rate no higher than the current insurance-based levy rate per unit of value, and the abatement point set so as to balance the benefits across mid-range to higher value properties in an equitable manner.

The report recommends that the property-based levy be collected by local authorities as a rate (deemed rate) on property values, and that this rate be extended to include many of the properties that are exempted from general rates (notably churches, schools, hospitals) but which are currently contributing to payment of the insurance-based fire service levy.

NZIER suggests that the transitional costs should be met by central Government and that the ongoing costs of collection should be recovered from the levy collection, with levy rates adjusted.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The National Leadership “Contest”

Key’s endorsement of English has turned this “contest” into a race for second place.

This succession was well planned. Lets not forget that English was told by Key in September of his intention to resign, and English was the only member of Cabinet entrusted with that information before it was sprung on everyone else on Monday morning. More>>

Latest: Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman have withdrawn from the leadership race, leaving Bill English the only candidate to replace John Key as Prime Minister.

 

Education, Marketing, Taxes: Health Groups Call For Actions For Sugary Drinks

The New Zealand Dental Association is launching a new consensus statement on Sugary Drinks endorsed by key health organisations. The actions seek to reduce harm caused by sugary drinks consumption. More>>

ALSO:

More Departures? David Shearer Proposed For UN Peacekeeping Role

Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Security Agencies' Reports: GCSB Wants To Give ISPs More Power To Block Threats

The Government Communications Security Bureau wants to give internet service providers more information and power to block cyber threats which are increasing, its director told the intelligence and security select committee yesterday.. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Charter Schools Misleading Pass Rates

Labour: NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated... In one case a school reported a 93.3 per cent pass rate when the facts show only 6.7 per cent of leavers achieved NCEA level two. More>>

ALSO:

Rebstock Report Resolution: SSC Apologises To Derek Leask And Nigel Fyfe

Following a complaint by Mr Leask, the Ombudsman found that the State Services Commission acted unreasonably in relation to Mr Leask and identified numerous deficiencies in the investigation process and in the publication of the final report and in the criticisms it contained of Mr Leask... More>>

ALSO:

International Rankings: Student Results 'Show More Resourcing Needed'

NZEI: New Zealand had only held relatively steady in international rankings in some areas because the average achievement for several other OECD countries had lowered the OECD average -- not because our student achievement has improved. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Salvation Army Report: Beyond The Prison Gate Report

A new Salvation Army report says changes must be made to how prisoners re-enter society for New Zealanders to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Surprise Exit: Gordon Campbell On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news