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SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Govt will not extend funding to other insurance-hit sectors, says Finance Minister

Update: Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe has said that the Government will not be making additional funding available to "other parts of our economy" facing insurance difficulties.

There is no equivalent payment available to those who work in the hospitality sector, he told RTÉ radio's Morning Ireland, referencing the announcement on Wednesday by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone of a one-off payment to registered childcare providers of €1,500 to deal with rising insurance costs.

The increased support to childcare providers was made through the Department’s Payment Support Programme (PSP), which allows for once-off payments, nominally to support providers during the time needed to complete administrative work associated with applying for financial programmes run by the Government.

Mr Donohoe said that there is a fundamental difference between the provision of childcare and other parts of the economy in which the Government cannot intervene.

"The Judicial Council Bill will make a difference in personal injury awards which should have an impact on the insurance industry," he said.

Earlier on Newstalk Breakfast the Minister said the Government is “tremendously active” with regard to insurance. But it takes time to make changes like this, he added.

“It is very complex. A balance needs to be struck.”

Earlier: Allianz offers quotes to 1,382 creches to avert closures

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has said 1,382 creches across the country have been offered quotes by Allianz.

It is urging creche owners to reassure parents they have cover from the last insurer left in the market for the New Year after another major insurer pulled out of the market.

The Department said Allianz offered quotes to more than 280 new customers yesterday.

It means cover has been offered to the same number of childcare providers hit by the departure of broker Padraic Smith from the market.

The Government has announced a €1,500 payment to help childcare providers cope with the rising cost of insurance.

Fianna Fáil's spokesperson on Childcare, Anne Rabbitte, said families should not be facing this sort of uncertainty over Christmas.

Ms Rabbitte said: "For the parents whose children are finishing up knowing that they have a secure place on the second of January, that when they return to work that their childcare provider will be operational with insurance is wonderful.

"There is an awful lot of pressure on an awful lot of people this Christmas and likewise, underwriters, whether they be underwriters from Ireland or the UK or right across Europe that will be underwriting it for Allianz, the pressure will be unbearable."

- Additional reporting by Digital Desk