Carlow TD slams 'outrageous' insurance companies as businesses struggle

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Darren Hassett

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Jennifer Murnane O'Connor, TD

Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow, Jennifer Murnane O’Connor, says many businesses in Carlow will continue to struggle after the Covid-19 pandemic because "the Government hasn’t addressed a range of very serious issues facing business across the country".

She welcomed the new package of measures aimed at supporting businesses which were announced recently but said great concerns still exist in terms of high loan rates, insurance cover and commercial rents.

She said: "The measures which have been announced will provide some relief for businesses but it’s important to remember that SMEs account for almost 70% total employment in Irish business and they’re going to need more than what was announced to get them through this tough time.

"A bold, turbo charged response will be required from any new Government. They will need to tackle the three biggest issues facing businesses at the moment, namely the high interest rate being charged on Government loans, business interruption insurance and rent payments."

She added: "It’s not on that Government is offering microfinance and loan guarantee schemes with interest rates of 4% when they can borrow at rates of less than 0.25%.

"It’s also outrageous that the insurance industry will not pay out on business interruption cover despite many shops, cafés, restaurants and other businesses having genuine claims.

"The issue of commercial rents, which are still being paid by businesses who have had their doors closed for almost two months, needs to be addressed. To date there has been very little mention of it when it comes to Government announcements.

"We need to get our SMEs operating again. They are the cornerstone of our economy and there must be a viable recovery set out for them."