Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bring on the clowns

Fire & Emergency Services. A basic responsibility of government.

We've long had the totally unfair system that a levy to fund it was added to property insurance - but many people don't bother with insurance so, while everyone benefits, not everyone contributes.

Simple to remedy - pay for it out of consolidated revenue, as it always should have been.

Trouble is, the decisions on things like this are made by idiot, self-serving politicians and the hopeless bureaucrats advising them.

Back in 2015 when our Premier was Treasurer, she announced that a new funding system would be introduced, with all property owners contributing.

But, in true bureaucratic manner a complicated basis for the charge was created. Payment amount based on land value determined by the NSW Valuer-General.

So a house with water views worth double the house across the road with no water views would pay a hell of a lot more. People in different suburbs would pay very different amounts, even though the service and cost for it provided to each is then same.

Fairfax Media has been running a campaign pointing out some of the new system's anomalies. For example, " owner of residential property in the Mosman council area whose land is worth the local median land value of $1.84 million will pay $502.96 for the 2017-18 financial year.

However, in Fairfield, where the local government area's median land value is $461,000, the annual levy for the owner of such a property will be $200.96."

The government touted figures that claimed the average payment would be $185  and the average fully insured residential property owner would save around $47 per year.. Being economical with the truth as usual.

The Opposition pointed out that based on the average Sydney land value of $774,000, the average Sydney household would pay around $270 – which is around $100 more than the government said.

Then of course there's the total amount being collected.

The government claimed that the new measure was 'revenue neutral', whatever that means.

Simple maths tells you that if many more people are paying more money, the amount collected is very much higher.

So, all in all, there's been an ongoing backlash from the community - read 'voters'.

So in spite of the new legislation being passed in March, yesterday the Premier announced another in an endless series of backflips from this government.

New legislation will be presented to reverse the just-passed legislation.

Waffling on, as our pollies do by default, the Premier said:"We are deferring this until we get a fairer system. If we don't get a fairer system, we won't introduce it. But our intent is to defer until we get a fairer system."

This started back in 2015, legislation was written and passed by parliament yet none of them had the intelligence or common sense to work out that it was unfair.

The Premiersaid modelling of how much commercial and industrial land owners would pay under the new system did not match the reality of what they faced after July 1.

She insisted that modelling of how much residential land owners would pay remained accurate and was "fair" but that the government wanted to revisit the entire reform.

In other words, a total stuff up, again, from the bureaucrats and politicians.

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