Fine Gael TD for Kildare South and Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, Martin Heydon brought a delegation representing Kildare businesses to Leinster House this week to discuss their concerns regarding escalating insurance costs with Minister of State at the Department of Finance Michael Darcy.
“The businesses which included hotel, play centre and Kildare Chamber representatives highlighted to Minister Darcy the negative impact that escalating insurance costs and dealing with insurance claims is having on their businesses and the challenges and frustrations it is causing. It is now one of the most serious financial issues facing businesses across Kildare.
“Minister Darcy outlined the work he and his department have undertaken to address this issue including the report and recommendations of the Cost of Insurance Working Group.
“The award of excessive payouts was identified as a leading contributor to rising insurance costs and the Minister said he was working to bring the levels of personal injury damages awarded in this Country more in line with those awarded in other jurisdictions. The Personal Injuries Commission has highlighted significant differences between award levels in Ireland and other jurisdictions, and has made a number of recommendations to address this issue, in particular the establishment of a Judicial Council to compile guidelines for appropriate general damages for various types of personal injury.
The Minister confirmed that work is progressing as a matter of priority on the Judicial Council Bill which would allow the establishment of a Judicial Council. The Bill is due to be submitted to the Dail next week with a view to being enacted by the Summer recess.
“The group agreed to stay in touch and monitor progress over the coming months with Deputy Heydon continuing to liaise between Kildare businesses and the Minister on issues raised.