Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs and European Parliament candidate for Midlands-North-West Anne Rabbitte TD has criticised the government on their lack of action regarding business insurance premiums which are seeing many Creches, Play Centres and Childcare businesses closing.

Deputy Rabbitte commented, “We are all familiar with the staggering cost of childcare and the negative impacts this has, particularly on working mothers. Too many women are being frozen out of the workforce because they cannot afford childcare, but at the same time, staff in the childcare sector are leaving in their droves because the pay and conditions are so poor.

“I am aware of one creche owner who was recently quoted €250,000 for public liability and staff insurance. The quote she received represents about an eighth of her annual turnover. That does not even cover her premises, which would require additional insurance cover.

“There is only one firm that is willing to offer insurance cover to creches and play centres, and they are based in the UK.  There are child care services across the western region closing as they simply cannot afford the rising insurance costs plaguing their industry.

“We in Fianna Fáil have been tireless in terms of raising the vital issue of business insurance, which needs to be addressed urgently. More than a year after its publication, the government has yet to implement the recommendations of the Cost of Insurance Working Group and take the necessary steps to increase competition and tackle Ireland’s claim culture.

“The government cannot stand off this issue. Businesses, parents, and more importantly children are at a disadvantage due to their hands-off approach,” concluded Deputy Rabbitte.