NEWS

Cash boost for large families

The Inner Cabinet yesterday approved draft legislation heralding financial benefits for families with three children and the abolition of a list of prescribed medicines for state-insured patients which is to be replaced by a more flexible and less costly system. According to the first draft bill, which is to be voted through Parliament at the end of January, mothers who have three children from the beginning of next year will be entitled to a 2,000-euro bonus, and another 2,000 euros for every subsequent child. The bill foresees several other benefits for three-children families, notably a discount in the registration fee if they purchase a car – 35 percent off if the purchase is made next year, 70 percent off if it is made in 2007 and total exemption from the fee in 2008. The second bill foresees doing away with a list of prescribed drugs and allowing patients access to all medicines without them needing authorization from their doctor in order to have the drugs subsidized by their social security fund.