RGDATA has joined renewed calls for the Government to immediately establish a Garda insurance fraud unit as the Alliance for Insurance Reform highlighted a struck out fraudulent motor accident injury case that shows the State is not taking insurance fraud seriously. “Insurance fraud is extremely serious and is having a significant impact on the cost of insurance for shops and for all other SMEs, hospitality, charity, sporting and community services. It is just not good enough to strike off a case against a man who was accused of fraud over a €60,000 road accident injury claim. We once again urge the Government to take this issue seriously and set up a dedicated Garda Insurance Fraud unit,” said RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley. Read the Alliance for Insurance Reform Press Release here.
The 5 Things Government must do to reduce insurance premiums: RGDATA & Alliance for Insurance Reform
Rebalancing the Duty of Care and dramatically reducing the payouts for minor injuries are just two of the five key things that Government must do in 2021 to reduce the cost of shop insurance premiums. The Alliance for Insurance reform Director and RGDATA member Eoin McCambridge reflects the views of shop owners when he said: “Nothing the Government has done so far has applied any downward pressure on insurance premiums and for charities, community and voluntary groups, sports and cultural organisations and SMEs, insurance has been unsustainably expensive now for over 5 years. If Government expects Ireland to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic through SMEs, or for Irish society as a whole to recover through voluntary and community groups, then insurance must and can be sorted in 2021.” You can read the full AIR press release here.
RGDATA’s submission on sick pay highlights the challenges faced by independent shops and urges the Government to make significant practical interventions to reduce the cost burden on shops and SMEs before it introduces mandatory schemes that will add significantly to employment costs. “Government needs to take practical actions to reduce unsustainably high costs that Irish businesses face – for example insurance – before it starts adding significantly to the cost burden on businesses that are already challenged by the devastating impact of Covid-19 on our local economies,” RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley stated. Click here to read RGDATA’s responses to the Government’s Sick Pay questionnaire.
RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley has been appointed to the new advisory group that will work on delivering the programme for Government commitments on introducing a Town Centres First policy and rolling out the Collaborative Town Centre Health Check programme nationally. The group will be chaired by Minister Burke and will have its first meeting via conference call on Friday 18 December. “I am delighted to be appointed to this role and will work hard to make sure that Town Centre Revitalisation is delivered throughout the country. RGDATA members are a vital component of vibrant towns, villages and communities and many are already very involved in regeneration projects. I will be working to ensure that Government delivers the right policies and supports to ensure that regeneration and revitalisation is delivered throughout the villages, towns and cities where independent shops are already a key component that are vital to ensuring a strong beating heart for a community to support and engage with.”
RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley said independent retailers will judge the Government’s success on insurance reform when they see a reduction in the unsustainable premiums that they are paying. You can read the RGDATA press release here.
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Minister for Rural & Community Development Heather Humphreys told Deputy Sean Sherlock that it was her intention that the SuperValu Tidy Towns competition will take place in 2021. She said it was unfortunate that the 2020 competition had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 and that her Department was currently considering the format of the competition in 2021. Click here to read the reply.
An RGDATA delegation led by President Colin Fee told Tanaiste Leo Varadkar that promised Government action on Insurance reforms must bring the cost of shop insurance down and address the issue of people making false, exaggerated or misleading claims for minor, fully recoverable injuries. The call came at a meeting between RGDATA, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and Retail Minister Damien English. The Tanaiste said he was fully committed to bringing the cost of insurance down.
The Tanaiste noted the concerns raised by RGDATA directors who indicated that claims for minor injuries were increasing in some stores and many retailers were facing threats from anti-maskers regarding Covid 19 claims. This is adding to the frustration shop owners feel about the lack of any impact to date of Government measures on shop insurance costs and claims.
The Tanaiste said that Justice Minister Helen McEntee was addressing the Duty of Care issue and he noted that RGDATA had drafted an amendment to the Occupiers Liability Act to rebalance the duty of care and make it fairer, balanced and more reasonable. “Shop owners need insurance for catastrophic incidents and we will put our hands up if we are at fault, but we cannot continue to pay substantial premiums and fight our insurance companies who are settling questionable claims instead of challenging them. This issue is a key concerns for RGDATA members and we need action now that will bring down shop insurance costs,” Colin Fee urged the Tanaiste who chairs the Cabinet Sub Committee on Insurance.
Deposit & Return Scheme: Engage with independent retailers on the design of the scheme: RGDATA Submission
RGDATA has called on the Department of Communications & Climate Action to ensure that proposed Deposit & Return scheme includes independent retailers at every stage of the scheme selection and design and that retailers are rewarded for taking part in delivering the scheme. RGDATA also calls for the use of Smart technology and existing infrastructure to ensure the scheme delivers the best value for money and measurable gains in terms of recycling. Click here to read the RGDATA submission.
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