Proposals to reintroduce prescription charges and abolish rates relief
31 Jan 2018
The NPA has responded to the Department of Finance’s Briefing Paper on the Northern Ireland Budgetary Outlook and proposals to reintroduce prescription charges and abolish rates relief for small businesses.
In our response the NPA commented that plans to introduce prescription charges could place a financial barrier to patient’s access to medicines. This coupled with the additional administrative burden to oversee the charges would not be welcomed by our members. In our response we highlighted the role that community pharmacists can play in medicines optimisation and the opportunity to reduce the waste associated with inappropriate use of medicines. We are also concerned about proposals to scrap small business rates relief in an effort to save £17.5 million. We have encouraged the Department to consider a scheme for Northern Ireland similar to that which the Welsh Government has developed to target the properties eligible for rates relief. We believe that this would allow for growth and investment in small businesses and vital local services including community pharmacies.
Read the Briefing on the Northern Ireland Budgetary Outlook
Read the NPA’s response