Australia – New South Wales Emergency Services Levy to remain in place indefinitely
The New South Wales Emergency Services Levy (ESL) will remain in place until further notice, as announced by the Premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian on 30 May 2017. The ESL was expected to be abolished with effect from 01 July 2017 and replaced by a new Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL). Consequently, it is understood that the Government will defer the introduction of EFSL. The indefinite deferral is driven by expected sharp increases in premiums for policyholders due to the modelling of the new system.
By way of background, the ESL shall be levied on all insurance policies covering fixed property and some mobile property. Its applicable rate depends on varying factors, such as the type of property covered (private or professional) and estimated state fire brigades annual expenditure.
The new FESL, which aimed to provide a fairer system according to New South Wales Government, is based on a double levy: a fixed charge based on the type of land covered and an ad valorem charge based on the land value. The Fire and Emergency Services Levy Act 2017 introducing this new levy was finalised earlier this year. It is now expected that a new legislation will need to be introduced to reverse the current one.
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