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U.K. hikes insurance premium tax to help improve flood defense


The U.K. insurance premium tax will rise to 10% from 9.5%, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in his budget Wednesday.

This follows on the heels of a November hike in the tax to 9.5% from 6%. The tax is paid on commercial and personal lines policies.

Mr. Osborne said Wednesday that the extra 0.5 percentage point rise would be used to improve the United Kingdom’s flood defenses.

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association said in a statement that it was “astonished” that a further increase in the insurance premium tax was deemed necessary to strengthen flood defenses.

“Let’s be clear about this. IPT is a tax collected and remitted by insurers, it is a tax on premiums paid by policyholders — motorists, householders, and businesses large and small,” Steve White, CEO of BIBA, said in a statement.

“While we support the additional funding on flood defenses, we believe that this could have been funded by the projected £1.5 billion ($2.16 billion) annual funds paid to the exchequer as a result of the increase in IPT put in place only last November, which puts an increased burden on policyholders, many of whom are suffering from ongoing flood damage,” he added.