Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue is calling on the Government to begin implementing the recommendations of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, which was tasked with coming up with solutions to tackle the problem of spiralling insurance costs.

Since January 2011 the cost of car insurance has rocketed by 51% in some instances, with business customers needing to insure cars, vans or fleets faring even worse.

Deputy McConalogue commented, “People are contacting my office on a weekly basis to complain about rising insurance costs.  We have seen extraordinary premium increases over the past number of years, and despite the issue generating interest in the media, the Government has been slow to take any action to address the problem.  Fianna Fáil has been consistently raising this issue in the Dáil, putting forward numerous motions and publishing proposals to tackle these exorbitant costs.

“This is an issue that is affecting thousands of people across Donegal.  Motor insurance is not an additional extra, it’s a legal requirement and people are now seriously having to consider whether they can afford to have a car at all.  Businesses are also being hit, with these rising premiums squeezing profits and risking jobs.

“It has taken the Government too long to wake up to the problem – it had already turned into a crisis before it called on the Finance Committee to look at ways to curb rising costs.  These recommendations were signed off last November but only came before Cabinet this week.  There is no sense of urgency from this Government, and this is deeply worrying for the thousands of motorists which will see their premiums rise again over the coming days, weeks and months.

“I’m worried about the timeline being reported regarding the implementation of the committee’s proposals. It has been suggested that it could take as long as 18 months before certain measures, such as the creation of detailed databases to combat fraud, are implemented. This indicates that the Government simply is not giving this crisis the attention it needs.

“I’m calling on Ministers Noonan and Ross to take charge of the situation and ensure that these proposals are implemented without delay so that the rip-off culture which has perpetrated the insurance industry over the last few years is effectively tackled”.