Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs

Insurance Cover for Crèches: Discussion

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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I would like to make two final points. I am conscious that we are running short on time. I asked the Minister about meeting the company that withdrew in the context of the need to collect much-needed information. What was the reason or rationale for its withdrawal? Do we know whether it related to claims? Why did the provider in question withdraw? What needs to change to encourage and incentivise other people into the industry? I would like to pick up on a comment that the Minister made. When there is a monopoly, it is a real worry. People inside the ECI structure are already getting more favourable insurance premiums than people outside that structure. Where there is a monopoly, there is no competition and there is an opportunity to overcharge.

The Minister has said that "Over the course of the past year to date, there were three parliamentary questions .... tabled to my Department on insurance". The dogs on the street have known for the past two years that insurance is crippling business across every sector. It is at the Minister's door now. Unfortunately, I do not believe the momentum is there to bring in the necessary reforms. The Minister will have to ensure the necessary reforms are introduced to incentivise more people into the market. Although the announcement that has been made today is welcome, it will be no more than a sticking plaster if we do not address this issue by incentivising more providers to enter the market and to bring insurance premiums down. We should not have to be using tax resources to supplement the insurance industry, but that is what is happening now.