Queen's Recommendation having been signified—
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to make new provision with respect to medicinal products and related matters, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of—
(1) any expenses incurred in consequence of that Act by the Minister of Health, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, a Secretary of State, the Minister of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland or the Minister of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, except any expenses so incurred exclusively in respect of executing that Act in Northern Ireland; (2) any increase attributable to the provisions of that Act in— (a) the sums payable out of moneys so provided in respect of rate support grants to local authorities in England and Wales which may arise from the inclusion, in the expenditure relevant to the fixing of the aggregate amount of those grants, of expenditure under that Act; (b) the sums payable out of moneys so provided under any enactment relating to local government in Scotland.—[Mr. K. Robinson.]
I hope that the Minister of Health intends to address us on the Money Resolution. His hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland said that it did not deal just with the amount of money that has been clawed back from licensing fees and the issuing of certificates, but what else does it include? Does it include a charge to be made for the registration of pharmacists? Does it include a charge to be made to manufacturers who get their drugs sold on a general list? I hope that some one will explain the words
No one has attempted to answer my earlier question about costs. Is the cost to be £8 million in 1970—the £8 million we are told we are to save on prescription charges—or is it a smaller figure? Let us be told what the whole Measure will cost when it is operable."…new provision with respect to medicinal products…"
I am very glad to accede to the request of the hon. and gallant Member for Ripon (Sir M. Stoddart-Scott) for a little more information. He will understand that I cannot give very much detailed information because such things as the level of fees must be discussed with the interested parties. The additional costs of this Measure when it is fully implemented—that is, costs beyond those now being incurred—are expected to be about £350,000 per annum to the health Departments and about £40,000 to the agricultural Departments. These figures, however, will be partly offset by licence fees. The amounts will only be incurred when the Bill is fully operative. I hope that what I have said will give the hon. and gallant Member some idea of the scale of the expenditure, which is nothing like as great as the mythical figure he mentioned.
Question put and agreed to.