Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan Monaghan Niamh Smyth has said that rising cost of insurance for businesses is having a devastating impact on the competitiveness and profitability of SMEs in this country. She says not only this it is adding to rural isolation in towns and villages.
Deputy Smyth said, “I have a worrying number of calls from rural taxi providers who have succumb to the rising cost of insurance. They couldn’t sustain the premium increases and were forced to be put out of business. This has left communities in rural parts of Cavan, Monaghan and Meath devastated and this situation is forcing more and more people to remain in their homes due to a lack of public transport in these areas. If people have no transport, the local shops, post offices and businesses suffer. The issues surrounding the rising cost of insurance are multifaceted. ”
“Day in day out, homeowners, motorists and business owners are crying out for action from the Government on the issue of rising motor insurance costs, and rising public liability costs. Premiums continue to rise unabated. The net result of such increases is downward pressure on the competitiveness of Irish business, and will start to put pressure on job numbers if left unchecked. Measures that should have been implemented long ago have been put on the long finger the Government.”
Deputy Smyth continued, “The establishment of a National Claims Information Database was recommended by the Government’s own Working Group on the Cost of Insurance. The legislation to establish the database should have been enacted by the end of 2017 but is now unlikely to be in place until the second half of 2018.
“In particular, businesses involved in haulage such as farmers or exporters are feeling the pinch as motor insurance premiums continue to rise. These two sectors are very exposed as a result of Brexit already and any increase in their cost base will severely damage their competitiveness and profitability.
“Minister for Business Heather Humphreys needs to put pressure on Ministers Donohoe and D’Arcy to speed up the reforms needed to stem the rising premiums that are risking Irish jobs,” said Smyth.
“The government has shown no sign that it is on top of this issue, meanwhile individuals, households, businesses, charities and sports clubs all face unsustainably high insurance premiums. This is a direct threat to our competitiveness and the government needs to afford this issue the urgency it requires, concluded Smyth.