Coalition’s Botched Fire Services Property Levy Now Fixed
The Andrews Labor Government has fixed the Coalition’s botched Fire Services Property Levy, so Victoria’s firefighters and emergency services workers can get the resources they need to protect our homes and save more lives.
The previous Coalition Government introduced the Levy in 2012, but set the Levy’s rates too low to fund our firefighters properly.
This error short-changed Victoria’s fire services by $21.8 million in 2014-15. Without any changes, firefighters and families would have been short-changed even further this year, with the cut set to blow out to $63.3 million.
The 2015-16 Victorian Budget covers up the shortfall the Coalition left behind, boosting resources for Victoria’s fire services.
It is a 0.2 per cent increase compared to the Coalition’s original estimate in the 2014-15 Budget in May 2014.
This adjustment is required and ensures that our emergency services are adequately funded and able to best service Victorians when we need it most.
All revenue collected through the Levy goes to supporting the State’s fire services.
As the 2015-16 Budget states, our Government’s significant additional support for the fire services is funded through general revenue, not the Levy.
Quotes attributable to the Treasurer, Tim Pallas
“The Coalition short-changed firefighters and put homes and lives at risk.”
“They botched their Fire Services Levy which would have left emergency services more than $63 million worse off.”
“We’ve fixed the mess and ensured there is no shortfall, because the safety of our communities matters most,.”
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett
“These men and women do tremendous work in the face of danger.”
“We’re giving them the support and funding they need to protect Victorian homes and lives.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing
“It’s unfortunate that the Coalition resorted to scaremongering on this issue – the Andrews government is absolutely committed to supporting CFA so it can continue to effectively protect our communities, including through providing 70 new fire trucks for the CFA around Victoria.”
“The Department of Treasury and Finance independently advises on the Fire Services Levy rate and in the first two years of the scheme, the revenue collected was first over, and then under the estimates. This year sees the forecast move into the normal range.”
“Fire Services Levy revenue goes into the operational budgets for CFA and MFB and as Treasurer Tim Pallas noted on 8 May, the Fire Services Levy will not be applied to fund election commitments.”