Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach

Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Bill 2018: Committee Stage

10:00 am

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal, Sinn Fein)
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I am disappointed that my amendments, Nos. 11 to 14, inclusive, were ruled out of order, particularly amendment No. 13 which simply sought to delete a paragraph that stated that a published report should not identify any particular insurance undertaking. It is not appropriate to include that provision as we should be facilitating transparency. The identification of an insurance undertaking is appropriate in certain circumstances. I accept that as a result of the blanket deletion proposed in the amendment, it would also delete the protection for individuals, which is not its aim. I will, therefore, examine the issue further on Report Stage.

We have discussed the issue of “best endeavours” in the context of the provision of data under the section. The Minister of State will be aware that under recommendation No. 4 made in the report of the cost of insurance working group, a data template was sent to the insurance industry in May. The intention was that it would respond to him by quarter 3 in order that the data could be published before the end of the year. However, it told him that that would not be possible but that it had begun to collect the data. In certain respects, I do not trust the industry as far as I could throw it.

There is language in this Bill that we need to examine on Report Stage that looks at some of these issues.

An amendment of mine on this section that was ruled out order would have given a greater breakdown of each expenditure type in the settlement channels and would have empowered the Central Bank to correct public statements from insurers that are not accurate. I think those amendments should be considered by the Department. The Minister mentioned consumer protection. The Central Bank should be empowered to correct public statements by insurers that are not accurate because they are deeply misleading.

Another amendment of mine was ruled out of order. The Chairman is becoming very strict in respect of disallowing all my amendments and is becoming very soft on the insurance industry. I have the letter with his signature to prove it. I am only joking. I know it is not the Chairman.