Dáil debates

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

2:15 pm

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I wish the Taoiseach the very best of luck in saying to the thousands of young people who have been ripped off over recent years that at least we compiled a report to tell them something they knew all along. That is essentially what the Taoiseach is saying. His source is essentially the CSO, which is asking the industry to present the figures. Is it not? This is a definitive study. It is not what the Government has been doing, namely, coming in here last week stating complacently that it is all sorted and that costs are going down by 20% to 30%. The cost went up 62% in five years. What in the name of God was the Taoiseach doing? What were his Ministers doing?

It is not just the motor industry that is affected. All week, it has been about crèches and childcare facilities, some of which will be closing this week because of inaction. The Minister of State claimed to be shocked over premiums increasing. Businesses have been ringing alarm bells because of the excessive rip-off in insurance that has been occurring with no rational explanation. Of course there are fraudulent claims and issues arising over the high cost of litigation in the courts but, again, the Taoiseach did nothing about it. He failed to protect the PIAB from the vested interests that sought to undermine it. The PIAB was an effective intervention brought in by Ms Mary Harney well over a decade and a half ago. It dramatically upset vested interests and brought costs down but the current Government has stood by. It has taken a hands-off approach. The situation is now that, right across the board, from crèches to childcare, we are in crisis in terms of the capacity of businesses and people to survive.

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