Further reform of the services and transport sector in Ireland would have several benefits. Making it cheaper to drink in pubs and cutting the cost of taking a taxi home are among them, the OECD says in a new report Regulatory Reform in Ireland. Limits on licenses granted to taxis and high entry costs led to frequent shortages of supply, with substantial queues and a knock-on effect on business activity. Regulations introduced in November 2000 lifted limits on the number of licences and could bring prices down, but the new regime is currently being tested in the courts.
It is a similar story for pubs, where lifting restrictions on granting new licences would cut the cost of drinks for consumers and enable pubs to open in areas where there is most demand for them, the OECD said. Elsewhere in the economy, regulatory reform is helping to manage the consequences of the fast growth of the 1990s and to sustain expansion
…while telecoms in Italy could be reformed more
Italy’s regulatory problems are more focused on the state sector, particularly gas and telecommunications, says the OECD’s new report Regulatory Reform in Italy. The Italy of 2001 is far advanced compared to the Italy of 1990, but there is a substantial, urgent reform agenda still outstanding. The OECD recognised bold and innovative reforms in the gas sector, but said the two most important issues for further reform are reducing the market share of national gas operator ENI and further separation of its vertically integrated structure. In telecommunications, unbundling the local loop is a particular priority because of the almost total lack of an alternative infrastructure.into the future.
©OECD Observer No 226/227, Summer 2001