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News / July 21, 2009


by Guy Hiscott

The Tánaiste, Mary Coughlan, has warned dentists that the Government will not back down in its drive to increase competition and get better value as it tackles the economic crisis, reports the Irish Times.

Specifying engineers, architects, the legal profession, dentists and others, Mary Coughlan told the MacGill Summer School at Glenties, Co Donegal, she would be submitting a report to the Government on the issue before the year is out.

Commenting that there were sectors that had yet to feel the ‘chill winds of economic reality’, the Tánaiste said ‘certain professions have yet to play their part and have yet to tell us how they will reduce their fees and charges’.

Pointing out that the Competition Authority had issued a number of reports on such sectors, she said implementing its recommendations was essential to remove ‘bottlenecks’ in the way of competition. She stressed the need to eliminate ‘structural rigidities’ that had contributed to high costs, and said there was a concerted effort on the part of Government to ‘challenge vested interests across the sheltered economy’.

The Tánaiste told the audience: ‘The Competition Authority has tended to focus its efforts, especially its advocacy efforts, on the non-traded sectors of the economy.

‘The Authority has issued a number of reports in the past few years on non-traded sectors, including the areas of banking, utilities and professional services such as engineers, architects, the legal profession, dentists and others.

‘Implementation of the Authority’s recommendations is essential to remove competitiveness bottlenecks in the economy and to deliver better value and more innovation in those sectors.

‘It is my intention to submit a report to Government before the end of the year outlining the progress achieved on the implementation of these prioritised recommendations.’

To read the full speech, visit