Businesses demand levy for flood damage cover
Flood-hit traders have demanded a national insurance levy to allow all businesses, irrespective of their location, full access to flood insurance.
Tax consultant Colin Mulhall warned that many of his clients in the flood-hit town of Bandon in west Cork faced a grim battle to survive such was the damage inflicted last weekend by Storm Desmond.
The Bandon businessmen said the plight facing many traders, on the eve of their busiest trading season of the year, was absolutely tragic.
Mr Mulhall, managing partner with Lloyd Bowmaker in Bandon, said simple measures could be taken to help flood-ravaged traders.
"A lot of our clients have been affected by the flood of last weekend and indeed by the flood of 2009," he said.
"Insurance companies should consider the implementation of a minimalist levy similar to what was charged when PMPA went out of business to ensure that businesses that are prone to flooding can get insurance cover."
Mr Mulhall said the scheme would offer protection for vulnerable traders - and allow the Government to avoid the nightmare scenario of businesses being forced to close because of flood losses while not insured.
"Businesses that cannot get flood insurance could get the relevant cover with the levy being shared across the whole of the insured spectrum throughout the country of Ireland.
"This would also give huge peace of mind to traders."
Mr Mulhall said some Bandon traders faced a desperate plight.
"One client took a stock loan out in October and the loan must be repaid by March 2016 but the stock got totally destroyed last weekend. They are now at an all-time low."