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.”