Tuesday, 19 October 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
I again thank the Deputy for raising this issue. It is a very live issue, especially in the leisure sector, and he referenced the ice rinks as a particular area of difficulty. I will ensure the transcript of this debate is forwarded to those in the Central Bank tomorrow so they will be able to take on board the points he has made directly in the Chamber. While I cannot direct them as to what to do, I can certainly pass on the information and the content of this debate. They may not be sitting up watching the debate at this moment in time, but I will make sure they receive that information tomorrow.
I want to refer to recent developments that will help this sector move forward. Obviously, we know about the PIAB report in regard to the personal injury guidelines; we made perjury a statutory offence for the first time this year, which will help; and, the Central Bank published a final report on differential pricing. Today, the Cabinet approved a general scheme for an insurance (miscellaneous provisions) Bill, details of which I expect to be published tomorrow. That deals with the specific issue of price walking, whereby there was a loyalty penalty for people who had car insurance or home insurance for a long number of years. We will ensure that is no longer legally allowed from 2022 onwards. The reform of the duty of care legislation, the Occupiers Liability Act, is progressing very quickly and the enhancement of the enforcement powers of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is also being dealt with, together with bringing forward the general scheme of a Bill to reform PIAB. We are reducing insurance fraud through the Insurance Fraud Coordination Office and the Central Bank has issued its report on differential pricing. I am also meeting the Garda Commissioner in connection with the issue of uninsured motorists. That is all in the insurance area and dealing with those issues will improve the environment for people through extra competition into the future.