Wednesday 21 August 2019

Government not 'foot dragging' on insurance reform, minister tells Dáil

Richard Bruton. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Richard Bruton. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

COMMUNICATIONS Minister Richard Bruton has denied the Government is engaged in “foot dragging” when it comes to insurance reforms.

The Government is under pressure over the rising cost of insurance for businesses around the country, including play centres ahead of the summer season.

In the Dáil, Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly claimed some businesses are having to “curtail their activities” because of the “painstakingly slow pace of insurance inform”.

She cited cases where companies have seen large hikes to their premiums despite not many a single claim.

Insurance has been on the Dáil agenda in light of the personal injuries claim taken by Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey against a Dublin hotel after she fell from a swing. The case has now been dropped.

Ms O’Reilly did not mention Ms Bailey during her contribution.

But she said reform was needed very quickly. New laws are working their way through the Oireachtas but the Dublin Fingal TD said they were moving too slowly.

Mr Bruton said insurance is “an acute concern for everyone of us”.

He cited areas where changes to the system having been made, including to the operation of the Personal Injuries Board.

“We cannot have the future of businesses undermined in this way. We need to see the progress made on the motor side repeated in other areas,” the minister said.

He said there is “a consensus for change” and the Government will bring amendments to the Judicial Council Bill forward shortly.

“There is no foot-dragging in relation to this,” he said.

But Ms O’Reilly said: “When you talk to the campaign groups and the small business owners, they tell you there is no urgency on the part of the government.”

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