A soft play centre in Donegal has closed down citing high insurance costs.
Donegal TD Pearse Doherty has sharply criticised the Government over its ongoing failure to implement measures to help tackle the growing problem of rising insurance costs.
The Sinn Féin spokesman on finance was speaking in the Dáil this afternoon where he attacked the Taoiseach and Minister of State Michael D’arcy over what he called the Government’s repeated failure to take actions aimed at bringing down soaring premiums.
Outlining how rising insurance costs are impacting on businesses, Deputy Doherty said: “Yesterday morning Taoiseach, we had Minister D’arcy on the radio trying to explain the huge increases that are being experienced by children’s soft play centres and other businesses and he spoke about whiplash which, as far as I know, isn’t an issue for play centres.
“He then used the excuse that some members of the judiciary are awarding – and I quote - ‘Bananas, off the wall amounts’, maybe the Taoiseach can advise us if he agrees with the Minister in that the judiciary are to blame?
“We have a serious problem here, and in the case of soft play areas specifically. In Donegal, my own constituency, one business’s premium has gone up from €2,500 in 2017 to €6,500 in 2018 – a 160% increase without a claim.
“Another business, again a soft play centre, in Inishowen has actually closed down and they cited at the core of its decision to close high insurance costs.
“A company in Meath went from a premium of €2,500 up to €16,000 within five years, again with no claim against it.
“The problem here Taoiseach is that there is a monopoly. There is no insurance company in Ireland that will quote these centres, there is only one insurer in Britain and yet the Working Group set up by Government to tackle these issues is simply failing.
“The Minister is instead blaming the judiciary; he’s even blaming his own colleagues and the Department of Justice for blocking his plans.
“The question that remains to be answered is when are we going to see some real action on this issue, such as the Garda Fraud Unit being used to tackle what is a serious problem and not just a blame game from the Minister?”