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Question

217. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Justice if she will address a matter (details supplied) regarding insurance reform; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10593/21]

218. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice if she will address a matter (details supplied) regarding awards for personal injury claims; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10636/21]

219. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Justice her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding insurance costs for business; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10714/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 to 219, inclusive, together.
I would like to assure the Deputy that insurance reform is a key priority for this Government. That is reflected in the Programme for Government itself and in the Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform which was launched last December.
The Action Plan sets out 66 actions designed to bring down costs for consumers and business; introduce more competition into the market; prevent fraud and reduce the burden on business, community and voluntary organisations. The Action Plan includes actions to be taken by my Department, the Department of Finance and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The implementation of the Action Plan is being overseen by the Sub-Group on Insurance Reform within the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery and Investment.
With regard to the issue of personal injuries guidelines, the Deputy will be aware that the Judicial Council Act 2019 provides, inter alia, for the establishment of a Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee. Last October, the Government amended the Judicial Council Act 2019, to ensure that the personal injuries guidelines would be adopted and published by, at the latest, 31 July 2021, three months earlier than originally required under the Act. Draft Guidelines were furnished to the Board of the Judicial Council last December and I understand that they are currently under consideration. I should add that, under the Judicial Council Act 2019, the Council is independent in the performance of its functions and I do not have a role in its operation or that of its committees.
In addition to the adoption and publication of the personal injury guidelines, my Department is developing proposals in relation to:
- the Occupiers' Liability Act 2005,
- the discount rate applied to awards in cases of catastrophic injury, and
- the Law Reform Commission Report on the Capping Damages in Personal Injury Actions.