Simon Harris: Flood cover levy would be 'like letting the insurance industry off the hook'

Simon Harris: Flood cover levy would be 'like letting the insurance industry off the hook'
Simon Harris (left) reviewing the flood damage in Athlone last month with Environment Minister Alan Kelly (centre).

Minister Simon Harris says he is not in favour of introducing a levy on home insurance policies to help deal with the flooding crisis.

The UK model is one of a number of options being considered by the Government, as Britain has a £10 annual levy on each household’s insurance premium.

Representatives of the insurance industry are currently meeting with the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and other Cabinet members to discuss how best to deal with the recent damage caused by flooding, and insurance cover for those affected.

Businesses hit by flooding have said they are finding it increasingly difficult to get insurance.

Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Simon Harris, says he is not in favour of a widespread household insurance levy.

He said: "Insinctively I don’t believe the answer is a levy. Hard-pressed households in this country are already paying enough thrpough various bills.

"I don’t see why, if those same households through their general taxation are paying for flood defences right around the country, that that isn't adequate enough.

"We've directed the Department of finance to carryout an analysis of what other countries do and report to Government.

"So whoever is in government in the Spring will have a range of options, but I do think the idea of just levying the taxpayer is letting the insurance industry off the hook."

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