Many small businesses have had to close because of increasing cost of insurance. Time for my Perjury and Related Offences Bill 2018 to be placed on statute books. This law will help ensure claimants are under an obligation to tell the whole truth and that to do otherwise will have serious consequences.
The second matter I wish to raise is insurance. The more I bring up this topic, the more small businesses and communities approach me and say they cannot keep going. Everyone here knows of local communities that have to close down or cannot continue their summer festival because of the cost of insurance.
I understand what Senator Conway-Walsh is saying about insurance. We must do something radical. IPB Insurance which insures most, if not all, city and county councils in Ireland is processing an estimated €436 million worth of claims. How many social houses could be built and how many people could be taken off the streets with that money? How many hospital wards could be opened and how many doctors could be employed with it? It is about how we spend money. I am not saying all of the claims are not legitimate, but there is certainly a percentage of them that are not. What can we do?
I recently introduced the Perjury and Related Offences Bill, supported by my colleagues, Senators Boyhan and McDowell. The Bill passed through the Seanad with uniform support and is now before the Dáil. I ask each Senator to influence his or her colleagues in the Dáil to have the Bill pass through as speedily and quickly as possible. Let us push it on to get it done and finished. It does not only cover insurance, it also covers telling lies under oath.