Wednesday, 22 May 1996
Dáil Éireann Debate
103. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Social Welfare whether his Department will accept responsibility for the professional fees incurred by claimants of equal treatment arrears; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10482/96]
Minister for Social Welfare (Proinsias De Rossa): Under the terms of settlements reached with the legal representativies of married women who initiated legal proceedings arising from the delay in implementing the equal treatment directive, the Department of Social Welfare will meet the plaintiff's legal fees. In the absence of agreement on the amounts involved, these costs will be adjudicated by the Taxing Master under the normal procedure whereby a solicitor's bill is examined by the Taxing Master who may either allow or reduce the amount involved.
The question as to whether the married women concerned may be charged additional fees, over and above those to  be met by the State, will be determined by the nature of whatever agreement they may have entered into with their solictors. It is open to those whose solicitors are claiming costs from them over and above those paid by the State to seek to have them examined by the Taxing Master also.
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