I am very much aware of the high cost of insurance in the State and I am concerned about the difficulties this is causing for many people, including young drivers.
On 25 October last, I announced my programme for fundamental insurance reform. The programme reflects the commitments given in An Agreed Programme for Government and comprises a comprehensive set of inter-related measures designed to improve the functioning of the Irish insurance market. The key measures include: establishment of a ministerial committee, chaired by myself, to oversee implementation of the reform programme, including the 67 recommendations in the Motor Insurance Advisory Board, MIAB, report. This committee meets on a monthly basis; publication of the action plan to give effect to the MIAB recommendations within a target timeframe. This report was published last October. A number of the recommendations have already been implemented, some by the insurance industry and some by the relevant Government Departments. Progress on the other recommendations is continuing; publication of the report of the implementation group on the PIAB. This report was published last October; establishment of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, PIAB, on an interim basis. The chairperson and ordinary members of the interim PIAB board were appointed on 27 November 2002. Agreement on the initial drafting of legislation to put PIAB on a statutory basis has been reached and the general scheme of the Bill for the establishment of the PIAB on a statutory basis is intended to be published around the summer of 2003, after Government has given approval for drafting.