SMEs ‘getting stuffed by radically increasing input costs’ – Tóibín

Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has welcomed “cross-party support” for a motion put forward by a group of regional TDs to make it a statutory crime to commit perjury.

The group is seeking to have a new law brought in to “penalise those who lie under oath for personal gain to be passed as a matter of urgency, to help curb insurance costs which are continuing to spiral out of control”.

“Small to medium-sized businesses are getting stuffed by radically increasing input costs,” deputy Tóibín said.

Amongst these increasing costs is insurance. Whole swathes of our society are in danger of becoming obsolete as insurance becomes increasingly hard to acquire.

“There are many problems with the dysfunctional insurance industry and it all needs to be tackled. One of those [problems] is fraud.

“It is astounding that perjury is not clearly defined, is hard to prosecute and does not have a clear penalty.”

‘People losing their livelihoods’

The group, which is made up of nine regional TDs, submitted a motion to be debated to reinstate the Perjury and Related Offences Bill 2018.

The nine regional TDs who put forward the motion are: Peadar Tóibín; Cathal Berry; Sean Canney; Peter Fitzpatrick; Noel Grealish; Michael Lowry; Verona Murphy; Denis Naughten and Matt Shanahan.

The motion received government support to “immediately establish the Dáil Select Committee on Justice and for the committee stage of the Perjury and Related Offences Bill 2018 to be the first item of business on the agenda before October 31”.

“The financial consequences of perjury and fraudulent claims can be devastating to people’s lives and businesses and, in some cases, result in people losing their livelihoods,” deputy Tóibín continued.

“Placing perjury on the statute books is not just about penalising those who commit perjury, it is about preventing those from doing it in the first place. Tough sanctions may make someone think twice about lying and diverting the course of justice.”

‘An opportunity to significantly change how this country works’

Last month, deputy Tóibín brought attention to the rural and urban economic divide in Ireland, saying that the “transfer of funds from Dublin to rural Ireland underlines that this system is broken”.

“Wealth, population, infrastructure and investment are concentrating more and more in Dublin,” he said.

“We see the continuation of a policy of ‘social welfare’ for regional and rural Ireland with a fund here and a fund there, but all this does is slow down the decline in regional and rural Ireland; it does nothing to change decline into growth.”