Small firms to take brunt of insurance hikes - Property Council
A group representing the commercial property sector says new insurance levy hikes will push up rents and hit wages across the country.
The hikes on the levies - which fund all fire services - will be minimal for house and car owners, but Property Council chief executive Connal Townsend is expecting contributions from commercial property owners to jump by an extra $14 million a year.
Mr Townsend says those tax hikes will be passed on directly to tenants and their employees.
"Disingenuous is the only word for it. It's one of the most deviously-worded public documents I think I've ever seen," he told Newshub.
"Tenants in a commercial building, let's imagine it's a small business, they're going to have to pay an awful lot more in rent to the owner of the building."
Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne confirmed the 40 percent hikes on Wednesday. It'll cost Kiwis with house and contents insurance about $36 a year more.
"The new levy rates will ensure that Fire and Emergency New Zealand has the necessary funding to deliver essential fire and emergency services to both rural and urban communities," said Mr Dunne.
"Some commercial and public entities will face larger increases, though the new legislation will allow for certain measures to address affordability and fairness concerns that were raised during the consultation process."
Mr Dunne says with local councils no longer bearing the cost of rural fire services, rates should come down to compensate.
Mr Townsend says urban and rural fire services should be funded from general tax, just like the police.