Posted September 20th, 2012 Comments (0) | Share

Victorian families are being ripped off millions of dollars by insurance companies overcharging for the Fire Services Levy for periods after its abolition, Shadow Treasurer Tim Holding said today.

Mr Holding said that legislation introduced by the Baillieu Government to replace the Fire Services Levy with a property based tax will take effect from 1 July 2013.

“This is an absolute rip off. Some insurers are charging the levy on premiums for home and contents insurance for periods beyond 1 July 2013”, Mr Holding said.

“Promises by the Baillieu Government that most Victorians would be financially better off as a result of the new property tax have been exposed as false.

“Households are being ripped off because the Baillieu Government has not introduced any protections for Victorian consumers.

“It is unbelievable that the Baillieu Government has introduced laws to impose a new tax on Victorians but they have failed to introduce any laws that guarantee that insurers remove the existing levy from Victorian households and businesses.

“The Office of the Fire Services Levy Monitor has not even been created, and the Monitor still does not have any legal powers to protect Victorians.

“Many Victorians are telling me that their premiums have risen substantially in recent years, and now households are incurring these additional and unnecessary costs”, Mr Holding said.

All property owners will be required to pay the new levy as part of their council rates.

Mr Holding said that key insurers have admitted that they will be charging their Victorian customers for the full 12 months for the existing Fire Services Levy even after the replacement property tax kicks in.

“The Baillieu Government must guarantee that every Victorian who has been overcharged is immediately fully repaid.

“Mr Baillieu’s promise to reduce cost of living pressures for Victorian families is in tatters”, Mr Holding said.

Thursday, 20 September 2012