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Report on Cost of Doing Business highlights need for immediate action on insurance – Quinlivan

11 July, 2018 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan today said that the government need to take immediate action on escalating insurance costs, which are having a detrimental impact on SMEs in Ireland and are significantly contributing to the cost of doing business in Ireland.

Speaking at the launch of the Oireachtas Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation’s report today, Teachta Quinlivan said;

“The Report on the Cost of Doing Business reflects a year of fact-finding and makes dozens of recommendations for reform. The Committee began studying stakeholders’ written submissions in 2017 followed by eight months of gathering oral testimony from 30 organisations.

“As a cross party committee, we have listened carefully to business representatives from various sectors of our economy and identified a number of common problems that are contributing to the cost of doing business in Ireland.

“It is clear the government need to take strong action on the insurance industry, as this is one of the major findings in the report. It is not just affecting businesses in terms of the cost of public liability and vehicle insurance, but it is also affecting workers who are getting massive car insurance premiums, which is putting pressure on their take home wage.

“The constant rise of insurance premiums is going unchecked and this is having a detrimental impact on SMEs in Ireland. We heard stories from businesses again and again about huge premium increases which are hampering growth and forcing some viable businesses to close.

“The recently announced Garda Fraud Unit is welcome, but it is a concern that this will be funded directly by insurers. There is a clear need for such a unit. However, it is the role of An Garda Síochána to form such a unit and it should be funded by the State.

“Recommendation 38 states that increased   efforts be made by the government to substantially increase the number of people in apprenticeship programmes and increase the number of apprenticeship programmes to ensure Ireland has the skilled and educated workers needed for growing and emerging sectors of our economy.

“The infrastructure projects set out in Ireland 2040 will need a large cohort of skilled workers to deliver, so as a state we need to substantially increase this area of education and training. Worryingly the government have already missed some of their own apprenticeship targets, so they need to renew their focus in this area.

“Our report also states that reform of the commercial rates system is needed, and the government should prioritise bringing forward legislation in this area. Some businesses are facing huge rates revaluations, while Ibec estimate that up to €200 million in rates is going uncollected each year.

“The government must take note of the findings of this report, as these issues have come directly from businesses and particularly SMEs, who are the engine of our economy.” 

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