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Government allows insurance companies to continue fleecing drivers – Ó Clochartaigh

14 January, 2016


Irish Version Follows - Leagan Gaeilge Thios

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has slammed the Minister for Finance for sitting on his hands and allowing the insurance industry to fleece Irish drivers, particularly younger people and those with older cars.

Raising the issue in the Seanad this morning he said:

‘'I am being told that young drivers are being quoted between €2000 and €9000 for motor insurance. This makes it impossible for many young people to take up employment opportunities, attend educational courses and the like.

'People with cars of ten years and over which are NCT compliant are in many cases being charged exorbitant rates, or not being quoted at all. This drives rural people off the road or renders older cars valueless if people wish to sell them on. This is unacceptable and also questions the validity of the NCT process itself.

'People with penalty points are also seeing massive increases, which are difficult to justify, to their premiums and those whose children are named drivers on their policies are being hammered as well.

'At the same time we see that the insurance companies are making huge profits and rating agencies are suggesting that insurance companies pile more onto motor premiums to maximise profits even further.

'It is totally unacceptable that insurance companies should be riding roughshod over drivers in this way. The government need to call them to task. The Minister for Finance should haul them in and call a halt to these unfair practices. A review he has started which is going to take 12 months will do nothing whatsoever to address the concerns of drivers who are being unfairly exploited by the industry to bloat their profits. 

'I believe that this government has failed miserably to take on big business interests and that citizens have suffered inordinately as a result. It appears they at worst are in cahoots, or at best are turning a blind eye to the rights of consumers in favour of the rich and wealthy and that this needs to be ended.’

An Rialtas ag ligean cead do chomhlachtaí árachais leatrom a dhéanamh ar thiománaithe – Ó Clochartaigh

Tá cáineadh láidir déanta ag Seanadóir Shinn Féin, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh ar an Aire Airgeadais, go bhfuil sé ag suí ar a chuid lámha agus ligean don tionscal árachais leatrom a dhéanamh ar thiománaithe Éireannacha, go h-áirithe daoine óga agus iad siúd le caranna níos sine. 

Agus é ag ardú na ceiste sa Seanad ar maidin, deir sé:

‘Deirtear liom i gcásanna faoi leith go bhfuiltear ag lorg idir €2000 agus €9000 ó dhaoine óga ar chlúdach árachais faoi láthair. Ciallaíonn sé seo in amanna go bhfuil sé dodhéanta ag daoine óga áirithe deiseanna fostaíochta a ghlacadh nó cúrsaí oideachais a dhéanamh. 

'Freisin, táthar ag lua suimeanna ollmhóra, agus i roinnt mhaith cásanna, ag diúltú meastacháin a thabhairt do thiománaithe a bhfuil caranna ós cionn deich mbliana d'aois acu a bhfuil an Tástáil Náisiúnta Caranna (NCT) faighte acu. Cuirfidh sé seo roinnt tiománaithe tuaithe den bhóthar agus ní fhágfaidh sé luach ar bith ar shean-charanna má bhíonn daoine ag iarraidh iad a dhíol.. Ní féidir glacadh leis seo agus déanann sé ceap magaidh den chóras NCT féin. 

'Tá arduithe thar fóir, atá deacair le cosaint, dhá bhualadh anuas ar daoine a fhaigheann pointí pionóis freisin agus táthar ag teacht anuas go trom ar thiománaithe a bhfuil a gcuid páistí ainmnithe ar a gcuid polasaithe árachais chomh maith. 

'Ag an am céanna feiceann muid go bhfuil brabúis ollmhóra dhá shaothrú ag na comhlachtaí seo agus áisíneachtaí rátála ar nós Standard & Poors ag moladh dóibh tuilleadh costais a leagan ar thiománaithe chun an brabús a thuilltear a mhéadú tuilleadh. 

'Ní féidir glacadh le córas ina mbeadh an tionscal ag caitheamh chomh dona seo le tiománaithe. Caithfidh an Rialtas stop a chur leis. Ba chóir don Aire Airgeadais iad a tharraingt isteach agus a rá leo stop a chuir leis na cleachtais éagothrom seo. Ní dhéanfaidh an t-athbhreithniú ar an tionscal a bhfuil siad ag maíomh as, a thógfaidh dhá mhí dhéag le críochnú, difríocht dá laghad do na tiománaithe bochta a bhfuiltear ag baint aimhleas astu faoi láthair ar mhaithe le rachmais na gcomhlachtaí.

'Creidim go bhfuil teipthe go h-uile is go h-iomlán ar an Rialtas seo seasamh suas don chosmhuintir i gcoinne na gnólachtaí móra agus go bhfuil saoránaigh ag fulaingt dá bharr. Cheapfadh duine ar an drochuair go bhfuil siad ag obair as lámh a chéile leis na bocanna móra, nó ar laghad ar bith go bhfuil siad ag tabhairt an chluais bhodhar do chearta tomhaltóirí agus iad i bhfábhar lucht an rachmaisagus an tsaibhris agus ní mhór deireadh a chur leis sin.’

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