I strongly support calls by Insurance Ireland to implement measures that will lead to the reform of personal injury awards.
The group is calling on the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to put into effect key sections of the Judicial Council Act that will lead to the establishment of the council and its Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee.
The cost of insurance for individuals, businesses and community organisations is being driven up by excessive or fraudulent claims.
Personal injury awards in Ireland are on average 4.4 times higher than they are in the UK and this has to stop.
I fully agree with remarks recently made by Justice Michael Twomey when he warned that the services of solicitors, barristers and medical consultants risk being used to facilitate bringing about fraudulent claims.
For individuals the cost of insurance eats into their disposable income, while the costs for businesses impact their profitability.
We have seen some businesses and community organisations forced to close because of the high cost of premiums.
I am pleased that the insurance industry has given assurances that if personal injury amounts are reduced, the cost of insurance for consumers and businesses will fall.
“It must follow that any benefits from bench-marking personal injury claims should be passed on to the consumer.