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Taxi Drivers from across Dublin are staging a protest in response to a significant increase in motor vehicle insurance today.
Cab drivers from the TTnH, the voluntary organisation representing taxi drivers in Ireland, are angered by the sudden and severe increase to insurance premiums over the past few months.
David McGuinness, a spokesperson for the TTnH, said:“The protest is regarding the huge hike in insurance premiums that taxi drivers have suffered over the past six to eight months. It isn’t only an issue affecting taxi drivers, it’s affecting anybody driving a motor vehicle.
We’re just trying to highlight the fact that there’s no reason for the increase, there’s a lack of transparency in the industry, and there’s no competition.
It’s hugely affecting our livelihoods, and some drivers have been forced out of the business because of the huge costs and the huge increase in the quotes for taxi insurance.”
One driver, who wished to be identified only as Tommy, said that his insurance premium had risen from €1570 to €2690 over a 12 month period.
“I haven’t got a leg to stand on, and I’ve to earn that before I can put food on the table,” he said.
Many insurance brokers have blamed the sharp hike in prices, which have steadily increased since April, on an over-competitive industry.
One spokesperson from Allianz, one of the biggest insurance brokers in the country, was quoted by the Independent as saying: “The Allianz taxi book is regularly reviewed and recent price increases – whilst regrettable from the consumer perspective – are necessary to maintain the provision of stable and sustainable taxi insurance by Allianz Ireland.”
Mr McGuinness accused insurance companies of “trying to profiteer on something that’s mandatory for drivers to have.”
The protest, which began with a road blockage this morning at Mount Joy South, saw scores of taxis and hackneys follow a procession down Gardiner St and across the Liffey, to a second road block at Merrion Square South, outside the Ministry of Finance, from 11:30am today.