– Garda Fraud Unit must be established without delay
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has accused the government of failing insurance customers by continuing to delay the establishment of a dedicated unit within An Garda Síochána.
A Garda fraud unit was recommended by the government’s Cost of Insurance Working Group back in January 2017, however there has been no progress on it whatsoever.
Deputy Brendan Smith explained, “Every insurance customer pays the price for insurance fraud through increased premiums, and despite some claims about reduced costs, many people have seen the price they pay for cover increase year on year. Personal customers, farmers and businesses have all reported increased premiums over the past number of years – and in some cases people have had to give up their insurance cover because it had become so unaffordable.
“The Garda Fraud Unit was first touted in the report on motor insurance published by the Government’s Cost of Insurance Working Group in January 2017. Yet here we are approaching the end of 2018 and no progress has been made. Insurance fraud can be very difficult and time consuming to investigate and to prosecute. A dedicated Garda unit is needed to take on this task.
“Ireland is seen as weak when it comes to tackling this type of crime, and the fact that no effort has been made by this government to address it does nothing to improve our international reputation.
“Fianna Fáil has been pursuing this issue for years – the party was to the forefront in raising the plight of insurance customers on the floor of the Dáil by bringing forward two key pieces of legislation – one of which specifically give Judges the power to pass information to the Director of Public Prosecution where a fraudulent claim has been made.
“Fine Gael cannot continue to bury its head in the sand as people the length and breadth of this country are paying through the nose for insurance. It needs to get serious about insurance reform and ensure that this unit is established without any further delay”.