Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary Jackie Cahill says businesses across the county are being crippled by rising insurance costs and has called on the government to stop stalling on implementing all of the recommendations of the Cost of Insurance Working Group.
A Fianna Fáil private members’ motion, which was debated this week, put the spotlight on the developing crisis facing businesses, sporting clubs and community organisations across County Tipperary as a result of the cost of employer and public liability insurance.
Deputy Cahill commented, “Businesses in Tipperary with a significant public footfall such as play centres, pubs and nightclubs, hotels and leisure centres, are facing an insurance crisis, but the government is failing to take the practical actions needed to address the issue.
“I have repeatedly raised the plight of business owners and community organisations in my constituency who have struggled to meet the rising insurance costs. Unless something is done soon, we risk losing jobs and even the businesses themselves.
“It is now nine months since the completion of the final report of the Personal Injuries Commission (PIC). The PIC confirmed that the level of damages for soft-tissue (whiplash) injuries in Ireland runs at a multiple of 4.4 times to that of our nearest neighbours England and Wales. There has been no movement on its central recommendation – the establishment of a Judicial Council which would compile guidelines for appropriate general damages for various types of personal injury.
“Similarly, we are over two years on from the recommendation to establish a dedicated insurance fraud unit within An Garda Síochána and again there has been no movement on this. Fraudulent and exaggerated claims are a significant problem in my view and this problem needs to be tackled.
“There appears to be no political will from government to take substantial action on reducing insurance costs across the board.
“Fianna Fáil has offered full parliamentary support to the government to tackle high insurance costs. Only last month we highlighted the fact that 75 festivals, marts and small businesses across the country have already gone to the wall as a result of these high insurance costs. It is well past time the government started to deliver in a meaningful way.”