Fianna Fáil’s Business Spokesperson, Billy Kelleher TD has said that the failure of the Government to move quickly and efficiently to deal with the insurance industry is placing a major upward pressure on the cost of living and cost of doing business in the country.

Deputy Kelleher was commenting as it emerged that a number of measures, in particular the fraudulent claims databased, promised for some time by the Government, have stalled.

“Additionally, we have learned that the commitment to set up a specialist Garda squad is mired in delays.

“The upshot of these major failings on the part of Government is an insurance market that is skewed and not consumer friendly.

“Insurance premiums are still rising, maybe not to the same degree as in 2016 and 2017, but rising none the less. This results in less money in peoples’ pockets for discretionary spending.

“Citizens are seeing their wages being put under more and more pressure, and businesses are seeing their cost of doing business grow. This cannot continue.

“Ireland is becoming more and more uncompetitive and this is a significant risk to our future economic prosperity.

“If the Government was serious about dealing with this issue, they would back my bill, the Civil Liability and Courts (Amendment) Bill 2018, which seeks to make people think twice about making fraudulent insurance claims which have been shown to lead to increased insurance premiums for all consumers.

“The Government need to get a handle on the competitiveness challenges affecting the economy – mainly insurance costs for individuals and businesses and the rocketing cost of all forms of housing. If we don’t, we harm our ability to invest in vital public services such as health, education and disability services,” concluded Kelleher.