Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Finance
John Lyons (Dublin North West, Labour)
Question 115: To ask the Minister for Finance the steps he is taking to address the issue of excessive professional fees in sheltered sectors of the economy; the timeline he envisages for addressing these charges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17325/11]
Michael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
The Government is committed to improving the competitiveness of the economy. In this regard the Government in the EU/IMF Programme is removing restrictions as follows:
- in the legal profession, establishing an independent regulator for the profession and implementing recommendations of the Legal Costs Working Group and outstanding Competition Authority recommendations to reduce legal costs.
- in medical services, eliminating restrictions on the number of GPs qualifying and removing restrictions on GPs wishing to treat public patients as well as restrictions on advertising.
- in the pharmacy profession, ensuring that the recent elimination of the 50% mark-up paid for medicines under the Stateâ€™s Drugs Payments Scheme is enforced.
The implementation of these commitments are matters for the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister for Health respectively in the first instance.