Tim Crakanthorp MP, Member for Newcastle, yesterday gave a Notice of Motion in the NSW Parliament urging the NSW Government to reconsider shifting costs to local Councils through an increase of the Emergency Services Levy (ESL).
A sharp increase of 15% in the home insurance ESL comes at a time when drought-ravaged regional communities, including Councils and insurance policy-holders like businesses and farmers, can afford it least.
This increase also continues the NSW Liberal Government’s practice of cost-shifting to Councils, without consultation the Emergency Services Levy on Councils has skyrocketed by over $19 million. Mr Crakanthorp has called on the Government to consult with stakeholders, such as community members and local government, to ensure the mechanism is more fairly managed in the future.
Quotes attributable to Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp
“A lot of communities in the State are doing it tough as a result of drought. It isn’t just farming that is impacted, as people who are reliant on agriculture for their income are less able to contribute to the wider economy.”
“This is a sneaky effort to pass the costs of better workers compensation coverage for volunteer and career firefighters onto ordinary NSW ratepayers, including the emergency services workers themselves.
“Instead of paying for the much-needed and well-deserved increase out of consolidated revenue, the Government has introduced a tax-by-stealth.”
“There’s no getting around that this will drive up the cost of home insurance and increase the burden on Local Governments around the State, which are already having difficulty delivering needed services.”
“The Government is forcing emergency services workers to pay for their own workers compensation.”
“I have called on the Government to ensure that this process is more transparent and fair in the future. NSW needs competent economic management, not this sort of money-grubbing.”