Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Finance
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]
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 State'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.