I beg the indulgence of the Ceann Comhairle. I am sure the Tánaiste will want to join with me in congratulating the Irish soccer team and management on their outstanding success last night. It was a tremendous victory against Italy in Lille. They have done us proud, as have the fans, over the past number of weeks. We wish them all the best in the last 16 games, and Northern Ireland as well.
I want to again raise with the Tánaiste the issue of motor insurance premiums, which continue to soar. She knows the facts pretty well at this stage. There has been an increase of 60% in premiums since the beginning of 2014 and in the past 12 months alone there has been an increase of some 35%. The bottom line is that motorists have had enough of these unacceptable and unsustainable premium hikes. This is now a priority issue, not just for private motorists but for the many businesses which are feeling the brunt of these savage increases. Fianna Fáil put this issue firmly on the Dáil agenda two weeks ago through a Private Members' motion that we put forward. It was agreed unanimously by the House on that occasion.
The motion called for a number of things, but the principal element was the establishment of an independent task force along the lines of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board, which very successfully tackled this issue some years ago. When motions are passed by the House, they represent the will of the Members of Dáil Éireann and, through us, the will of the people we represent. Motions passed by Dáil Éireann cannot simply be ignored by the Government. What steps does the Government intend to take to tackle this issue and implement the measures set out in the motion which was agreed by the House?
Fianna Fáil acknowledges that there is no silver bullet to resolve the issue. While the Government does not control the cost of premiums, it can influence many of the factors behind the level of increases we are witnessing. The problem is that we simply do not know who to believe and do not have the data to reach reasoned conclusions.
The industry tells us, for example, that the reason behind the premium hikes lies in the area of claims, in the number of claims and the cost of settling claims. However, the data we have does not back that up. For example, the total amount paid out by insurance companies on claims for 2014 - the most recent data we have - was 36% less than the amount paid out in 2011. We need measures to tackle false and exaggerated claims and legal costs. We also need a national claims register and to look at the level of awards being made. We must also review the role of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, PIAB. I welcome the fact that some work is being done in that area. One of the main difficulties as I see it is the fact that the vast majority of claims are now being settled out of court and outside of the PIAB process so we do not have any oversight or transparency and we need a national claims register. Insurance premium increases are typically of the order of €200 to €300, with many increases for far greater amounts. That is not acceptable. We need action. What is the Government doing to tackle the issue on behalf of consumers?