Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare South Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD has called on the Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald to take decisive action to address the high cost of legal fees, particular those associated with family law cases.
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl commented, “Fine Gael and Labour made a key promise when entering Government to address the growing rate of legal fees in our courts system. The Programme for Government contains a key commitment to “reduce legal costs and ameliorate the stress of contested court proceedings”. However with less than a year left in the lifetime of the Government we are still waiting for Fine Gael and Labour to deliver on this commitment.
“One step that the Government should take is to immediately implement a VAT exemption for fees associated with family law cases. These cases should not be considered as a luxury item, which fall under the remit of VAT. The purpose of such cases is to help resolve extremely difficult and sensitive family disputes. Extending the VAT exemption to family law cases would be an enormous financial and emotional relief for families that are already going through challenging times.
“The necessity to reform our legal system is a key area that was identified by the Troika. It was envisaged that the reforms would benefit all those that avail of legal services in the state. Unfortunately the Government has made little headway to date in achieving these reforms. Fine Gael and Labour need to bring forward the much awaited legal reforms without any further delay.”