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News Archive

Thursday, 13 September 2012


Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards yesterday in Parliament called on the Minister for Consumer Affairs, the Hon Michael O’Brien, to urgently intervene on behalf of Maldon pensioner Mr Reg Nicholson over the whopping 400% increase in his Fire Services Levy (FSL) by his insurance company.

 “Mr Nicholson lives alone in a very modest home in Maldon, and has done so for decades. He recently received his home and contents renewal from his insurer this month and is required to finalise payment by the 26th September.”

 “Last year the fire services levy component of his home and contents insurance was $125.98 – this year the fire service levy component is $511.90. This represents a 400% increase – an increase Mr Nicholson can barely afford.”

 “It is likely that there are many pensioners and families on fixed incomes in regional Victoria who will be facing this massive increase in their cost of living through massive hikes in their fire levy insurance.”

 “There is no doubt that this increased financial pressure being imposed by insurance companies will be a massive burden on thousands of families and individuals if the government doesn’t do something to stop this happening.”

 “It has been widely reported in the media that insurers in Victoria have increased their prices because of the uncertainty about the introduction of the government’s new property based fire services tax. The reports further point out that insurance companies were not able to begin phasing out the fire service levy from July 1 2012 because the Government delayed the necessary legislation, and as a result in some circumstances both the insurance and property based levies would need to be paid in the same period.”

 “This will be a significant hardship for many people on low incomes, and I fear that Mr Nicholson is just one example,” Ms Edwards said.

 “It is imperative that the Government guarantees that pensioners like Mr Nicholson will not be worse off, and that all Victorians know just how much they will have to pay as a result of the new property tax.”

 “The Liberal National Government must act now to protect pensioners and struggling families in regional Victoria from these savage price hikes.”

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