Fire Services Levy soars under Labor

Home owners, businesses and farmers will face large increases in their property based Fire Services Levy (FSL) as a direct result of the Labor State Budget.

Member for Ripon Louise Staley has hit out at the Andrews Labor Government for outlining a huge 7.2 per cent increase in FSL receipts in its recent State Budget.

“This is a raw deal for Ripon farmers and families who will face huge mark ups in their FSL as a direct result of this decision by the Labor Government to deliver an additional $42.1 million into the coffers of the State Government.” Ms Staley said.

“Daniel Andrews proposed 7.2 per cent increase in collections from the FSL is a massive increase compared to the average inflation rate over the past 12 months which was only 1.8 per cent.

“This grubby deal means land owners will be slugged with a FSL increase which is four times the CPI (Consumer Price Index) or inflation rate.”

Ms Staley said it was hypocritical for the Andrews Labor Government to impose huge increases on property owners through the FSL at the same time they were demanding local councils cap rates at CPI or less.

“Prior to the 2014 State Election, Daniel Andrews and Labor promised there would be no increases in taxes and charges, so this big increase in the FSL being imposed on Victorian families and businesses is yet another Labor broken promise,” she said.

“The Liberals in Coalition Government introduced a fair and more equitable FSL system by scrapping the unfair insurance-based levy. This ensured all Victorian property owners paid a fair and reasonable contribution to fund our fire services.

“Across western and central Victoria the former Liberal Nationals Government used the FSL to deliver new tankers, slip-ons and equipment for local brigades.

“Given that the last Liberal Nationals CFA budget was $58 million more than Labor in 2010, it is difficult to understand why the new Labor Government is planning to massively increase FSL’s for all Victorian property owners.

"Regional Victoria loses out once again whilst Daniel Andrews snatches this money to subsidise his growing debts in Melbourne”.

“This massive increase will hurt struggling household budgets and make it harder for businesses across regional and rural Victoria in these challenging economic times.”