Compo culture hits prices and threatens jobs

Warning...Supermacs' Pat McDonagh.

Soaring insurance costs for restaurants and hotels is putting jobs and livelihoods at risk, as business owners struggle to keep pace with spiralling public liability premiums.

That’s according to Supermacs chief Pat McDonagh, who warned that there had to be consequences for those who attempt to fraudulently claim against businesses – and for the solicitors who encourage them to do so.

He was commenting in the aftermath of Dáil approval of a new Bill this week which aims to set guidelines for judges on personal injury payouts.

Mr McDonagh, who also owns a number of hotels including the Lough Rea Hotel and Spa, said insurance hikes were adding on average ten cent to the price of a burger, and several Euros to every hotel room – something he said was making Ireland a less attractive place to visit.

“It’s one of the reasons we’re becoming uncompetitive. It has gone out of control in the last few years again because of high payouts for claims, the amount of fraudulent claims and exaggerated claims – and there’s no penalty for anyone acting fraudulently, or for the solicitors acting for them.

On Tuesday evening last, a bill that will enable judges to set guidelines for payouts in personal injuries cases was passed.

The Judicial Council Bill also makes way for the investigation of judges if complaints have been made about them.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.