Sinn Féin TD Rose Conway-Walsh has challenged the government for a failure to follow through on their commitment to hold the insurance sector to account in returning pandemic payments.
This follows the emergence that insurance companies deducted the value of government supports from the pay-out owed for Covid business disruption.
Speaking in the Dáil, Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“Insurance companies last year hijacked state funds intended to support struggling businesses to protect their own profits.
“This was done by deducting the value of supports such as wage support schemes and rates waivers from pay-out they owed to businesses.
“The public were assured by government that the sector would not be allowed to pocket public money in this manner. Now months later the only legislation we have seen is to instruct the Central Bank to collect information.
“It is the weakest possible response and is completely out-of-step with what the public expects.
“There is a stark contrast between this and how the government pursues ordinary citizens for any overpayment of supports.
“We had checks at the airport for people on PUP payments during the pandemic. People are followed beyond the grave for mistakes they might have made in claiming welfare.
“When it comes to large corporations, the government refuses to act.
“Workers and families cannot be expected to subsidise the insurance sector – a sector that does not even deliver affordable policies.
“Home and car insurance is a real burden for many. Small businesses, sports clubs, and community groups continue to close down or struggle due to the lack of affordable insurance.
“Sinn Féin stands ready to support the government in any measure or legislation that will address this injustice and hold insurance companies to account.”