I propose to take Questions Nos. 70 and 81 together.
The European Commission published the 2018 country-specific recommendations, CSRs, on 23 May 2018 as part of the European semester process. Similar to last year, Ireland received three recommendations. The first deals with the effectiveness of public finances and expenditure, the reduction of Government debt and broadening the tax base. The second references the implementation of the national development plan and the third addresses productivity growth and the resolution of long-term arrears.
These recommendations were based on the European Commission's country report for Ireland, which was published earlier in March. At the June meeting of the Economic and Finance Affairs Council, my colleagues and I welcomed and approved the publication of the country-specific recommendations, which were subsequently endorsed by the European Council. On Friday, 13 July, the country-specific recommendations will be adopted at the ECOFIN meeting that I will attend. I will bear these recommendations in mind as part of the overall process when preparing budget 2019.
It is important to note that Ireland did not receive a recommendation relating to aggressive tax planning, although it was referenced in the recitals to the country-specific recommendations. We remain committed to implementing the OECD base erosion and profit shifting recommendations and the recommendations of the Coffey review of Ireland's corporation tax code.
Part of the country-specific recommendation dealing with the effectiveness of public finances aimed to address the expected increase in age-related expenditure by increasing the cost-effectiveness of the healthcare system and pursuing the envisaged pension reforms. While healthcare policy is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Health, my Department works closely with the Department of Health on an ongoing basis. The Departments have also worked closely on longer-term issues such the implementation of an agreement on prices of and access to medicines.
Matters relating to pensions reform are primarily a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that in February, the Government agreed a roadmap for pensions reform. The roadmap takes a holistic view of pension issues and details specific measures presented under six strands to modernise and improve the sustainability of our pension system.