Seanad debates

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

2:30 pm

Photo of Jerry ButtimerJerry Buttimer (Fine Gael)

Senator Craughwell also raised the issue of the Defence Forces. We will have that debate with the Minister of State, Deputy Kehoe, in due course. We all look forward to the publication of the report of the Public Sector Pay Commission on the matter. I would be happy to accept Senator Ruane's amendment to the Order of Business. I thank her for bringing forward her Bill.

Senator Norris raised the issue of insurance. The Minister of State, Deputy D'Arcy, has been in the House a couple of times recently to address the matter. The Government is committed to tackling the issue of insurance. There is the political will to solve the issue raised by Senator Norris. We need to address a compendium of matters in terms of the costs being awarded by the courts. The Government is bringing forward four pieces of legislation, particularly the Judicial Council Bill, that will have a positive effect on insurance. The Minister of State and the Government are determined to solve the problem. I think we must all agree that the level of awards is one such worry.We need to address the compensation payment culture from both a legislative and cultural point of view. The Personal Injuries Commission made 44 recommendations. The level of payments for soft tissue injuries at 4.4 times those in the UK is a source of concern. I understand a case over monopoly in the insurance industry will come before the European courts this week. The insurance companies also have a critical role to play and cannot be let off the hook.

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