The Minister, Deputy Humphreys, and I are conscious of the serious impact of high insurance costs on businesses. It is important that consumers and businesses can obtain insurance cover at a reasonable and fair price. Apart from motor insurance, which falls under the remit of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, policy responsibility for insurance is a matter for the Minister for Finance. We have no direct policy responsibility for insurance. Officials from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and other Departments and agencies, including the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, which falls under our remit, are members of the cost of insurance working group, which is chaired by the Minister of State with responsibility for financial services, Deputy D'Arcy.
The work of the group is complemented by the work of the PIC. We were pleased to submit the commission's second and final report to the Government on 18 September 2018. The publication of this report concluded the commission's challenging work programme since its establishment in January 2017 on foot of a recommendation in the working group's report on motor insurance. The first report of the commission, which was published in December 2017, made four recommendations, two of which are ongoing and one of which is partially complete. The final recommendation, which relates to the Book of Quantum, has been superseded by the commission's recommendation that the Minister for Justice and Equality should ask the judicial council, when it has been established, to compile judicial guidelines for appropriate general damages for various types of personal injury.
The second and final report made a further ten recommendations. While they are not timebound, we expect they will be implemented by the relevant bodies as soon as possible. Following the publication of this report, we wrote to relevant Government colleagues and organisations to look for co-operation in advancing the implementation of the recommendations that are relevant to them. Progress on the implementation of the recommendations is reported on through the cost of insurance working group progress reports, the most recent of which was published in July 2019. Four of the commission's recommendations relate directly to recommendations in the reports. Of the remaining six, one is complete and two relate to the development of judicial guidelines. These recommendations, along with the remaining three recommendations, are under consideration by the relevant organisations.
The passage of the Judicial Council Bill through the Houses of the Oireachtas in July 2019 provides for the establishment of the personal injuries guidelines committee, whose function will be to develop the relevant personal injury guidelines for appropriate general damages for various types of personal injury. We believe that the cumulative effects of the implementation of the recommendations from the two reports of the personal injuries commission, along with the reports of the cost of insurance working group, should bring greater consistency and predictability-----
Additional information not given on the floor of the House
-----to awards, faster resolution of claims and ultimately, a reduction in insurance premiums. This will benefit consumers, businesses and society as a whole.