Sinn Fein MEP for Ireland South, Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the EU Commission’s decision to open a full antitrust investigation into Insurance Ireland’s data pooling system.
Speaking in Laois, Ní Riada said:
"I welcome the commission's announcement, despite it coming nearly three years to the day since I first highlighted the issue with them, asking them to launch an investigation into the Irish motor insurance market in order to ascertain whether any anti-competitive practices are to blame for the stubbornly high premiums." she said.
“The high cost of car insurance in Ireland is nothing short of a scandal, especially given how unfairly it impacts on young people, rural communities and the less well off.
"Given the dispersed nature of our towns and countryside, not to mention the Government's constant cuts to an already inadequate public transport system, being able to drive is crucially important to so many people.
“Without access to their own car, a large number of our people would be unable to work, to shop, to socialise, to access medical services or to facilitate their children's education.
"The high price of motor insurance is huge a burden on many Irish families, and the competition in the market is not working to bring prices down.
"The reality is, the high cost of insuring a vehicle is a barrier to finding and keeping a job, to accessing education and training and, for many, to having a decent quality of life.
"Despite there being numerous insurance companies in this country, prices remain staggeringly high across the board and it's only right and proper that this be investigated.
"Therefore I welcome that the Commission have now launched an investigation into the Irish motor insurance market, something I have been calling for for years.
"It is my sincere hope that this will lead to major reform in the industry and more affordable premiums for drivers who have been shouldering the burden of crippling costs for far too long."