The cost of motor insurance is simply unsustainable. Although the Minister of State provided some facts, I would go so far as to call it daylight robbery of our citizens. Sole traders and small and medium-sized business operators in the taxi and bus transport business are being pushed to the pins of their collars at a time when more people are out spending. They should be experiencing an increase in business.
A car is also important for young people, especially those living in rural areas. They need cars in order to get to college, to work and to social occasions. In addition to NCT costs, the cost of driving lessons and taxes on fuel, they are expected to pay a small fortune on motor insurance. The cost of insurance also affects working families and older people who, in many cases, have never made a claim previously but nevertheless experience increases.
I acknowledge that there has been some levelling out but we need to grasp the nettle and take more definitive action. We must examine the possibility of opening up the insurance market to new providers and increasing competitiveness. That is why I am asking about new providers. Ireland is a part of Europe. Why not open up to new providers and force companies to bring down their insurance costs?