Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon has warned that unless rising insurance costs are properly tackled, businesses will be forced to cut jobs.

He made the stark prediction after a number businesses raised concerns about the increasing cost of public liability insurance and the fact that despite claims that premiums are falling, that is not their experience.

Deputy Scanlon said, “It’s now two years since the Cost of Insurance Working Group published a series of recommendations to deal with spiralling insurance premiums, however many of the key proposals have yet to be implemented.  Drivers, business owners and personal insurance customers are deeply frustrated by the lack of action on this issue – year on year they are continuing to see their insurance costs rise.

“The government is playing catch up when it comes to insurance reform.  Despite commissioning the Cost of Insurance Working Group to compile a report, there are a number of fundamental recommendations which remain outstanding.  We still don’t have a national claims information database and the anti-fraud unit within An Garda Síochána has still not been established.  A business insurance premium index, which was also recommended in the report, has still not been set up.

“Fianna Fáil has taken the lead on this issue and it was as a result of our Private Members Motion on insurance that the Cost of Insurance Working Group was established.  We also introduced a Bill last July, which sought to ensure that the PIAB (Personal Injuries Assessment Board) process would be seen as a viable alternative to the costly legal process.

“The constant heel dragging by Fine Gael on this important issue is unacceptable.  Businesses in the North West are already dealing with high costs – and the uncertainty with Brexit is heaping even more pressure on them.  The high cost of insurance has been flagged for years, yet the government is continuing to delay on bringing in measures to tackle it.  This could cost jobs and livelihoods and I am calling on Ministers Donohoe and D’arcy to stop slowing down the process and implement the recommendations as a matter of priority”.