asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what reply he has sent to the Brent and Harrow local dental committee to its protest on increased dental charges; how many similar protests he has received; and if he will make a statement.
The following is the text of the reply sent on my right hon. Friend's behalf to the Brent and Harrow local dental committee:
Very few similar protests have been received."The views of the Local Dental Committee have been noted. It is the Government's intention as stated in the White Paper "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1980–81"to revise dental charges so as to maintain their 1979–80 level in real terms. The purpose of the proposed increases from 1 April 1980 is therefore to keep dental charges in line with rising costs. In the Government's view this is a reasonable step to take, as part of its overall policy on public expenditure. Arrangements for helping patients who would have difficulty in meeting charges remain in force."