The Social Democrats are calling for a Commission to review Insurance hikes which are threatening the viability of small businesses across Ireland

CSO data shows that business insurance prices have increased by 29.6% since 2011
This week’s ploughing championships are celebrating the success, innovation and determination of small business owners.

But as they work hard to grow their businesses and generate local employment they must contend with mounting costs and overheads.

Since 2011 business insurance in Ireland has increased by an astonishing 29.6%.

In the same period we know that motor insurance premiums have sky-rocketed by 33.5% (and 26.4% in the last 12 months alone).

Small businesses rely on transportation and have no choice but to incur these increases.

No matter the sector, be it farming-related, hospitality, manufacturing or in the wider service business, these levels of insurance hikes are potentially crippling.

They can hit the small agri-sector business just as hard as the city centre trader.

Speaking at the Ploughing Championships in Tullamore on Tuesday Catherine Murphy TD. said: “It’s ironic that at the same time as we’re discussing favourable terms for multi-national companies, and bracing ourselves for the fall-out from the Brexit vote in the U.K., we’re seeing small and medium sized enterprises being hit with insurance hike after insurance hike. One gastro-pub owner contacted us to say the premium for their business has increased from €6k in 2013 to €26k in 2016. And here in Tullamore we’re hearing the same concerns. SMEs account for seven out of every ten jobs in Ireland today, we should be protecting them not punishing them.”

She added: “Whilst car insurance costs have been identified as excessive and are being reviewed by the Competition Commission, overall business insurance  costs are not included in any review. The Social Democrats are calling for such a review to take place as soon as possible so we can get to the bottom of why costs have increased so significantly in recent years.”