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Northern Ireland Assembly: Adjournment: Causeway Hospital (21 April 2015) See 5 other results from this debate

Jim Wells: ...in the Donaldson report. Everybody has homed in on recommendation 1, to some extent ignoring the other nine recommendations, which are equally important. I will come back to that, and I am sure that the Member will remind me if I do not. There are partnership arrangements for the community and voluntary sector within the Causeway area. That supports the integrated model of service. The...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Water Rates (21 April 2015)

Jonathan Bell: This has been a very healthy debate on a matter that is of very real importance to householders out there. What all of us in the House want to do is to make sure that money is retained in families as far as possible. Nobody should underestimate the pressures that are on many family budgets at this time. It was right to table the motion on water rates and to let people know the position,...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Indictable Cases: Pilot Scheme (21 April 2015)

David Ford: ...of defendants as well as victims and witnesses. That has to be applauded. On the other hand, it has required a significant input of resources by some of the agencies that are involved. We would need to be sure, before we attempt to roll it out, that we are able to put those additional resources into the cases which might be considered for inclusion elsewhere. I will be looking closely...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Antrim Borough Courthouse (21 April 2015)

David Ford: It would be a foolish Minister who said that errors could never happen, but I am not sure why Mr Frew suggests that errors will be more likely with the closure of Ballymena courthouse or any courthouse. The reality is that we have to work with the available budget, and I believe that it is more important to put budget into ensuring that we have adequate staffing, judicial cover and...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Downpatrick Courthouse (21 April 2015)

David Ford: .... Whether that will involve any decentralisation out of the greater Belfast area is very much under consideration at this time, but, given the range of the Department's responsibilities, I am not sure that there is likely to be a decentralisation away from greater Belfast, as opposed to bringing agencies together within Belfast.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Courts: Closures (21 April 2015)

David Ford: ...from people in the immediate area, but that does not mean that changes do not have to be made to deal with the budget. I will repeat to Mr Allister the point that I made to Mr Dallat — I am not sure that there will be a positive response — which is that, if there are specific suggestions to be made to deal with the difficult budget pressures on the Courts and Tribunals Service,...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Water Rates (21 April 2015) See 4 other results from this debate

Trevor Clarke: I thank the Member for giving way. I am sure that, when you are welcoming all that today, you will welcome the shift by the Alliance Party. Chris was reading into the record, and I want to read something that he said in January this year: "[Alliance] believes that we have to be open and honest about the need for serious consideration of the introduction of fair domestic water pricing based...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Committee Business: Sickness Absence in the Northern Ireland Public Sector (21 April 2015) See 2 other results from this debate

Judith Cochrane: ...working, where we can, can be key to supporting employees' health and well-being as they get older. Other important measures include skills analyses, job design and coaching and mentoring to make sure that people are in the right job, which is also essential for good mental health. In conclusion, workplace absenteeism is costly and, if not addressed, it will restrain our public sector...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Westminster Elections (20 April 2015) See 4 other results from this debate

Stewart Dickson: On the point of Sinn F閕n not taking its seats, I am sure that Lord Morrow will agree with me that the hundreds of thousands of pounds that have been taken by way of expenses for those seats that are not taken in Westminster is a sort of halfway house between taking your seat and not taking your seat. Perhaps he would like to comment on the sums of money that have been put into the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Fuel Laundering (20 April 2015) See 1 other result from this debate

Alastair Ross: ...that that logic would follow. Indeed, when Sinn F閕n talks about those involved in terrorism today being wrong, it follows that those involved in terrorism in the past were also wrong. I am quite sure that that point will not be lost on the public. Mr Beggs made the point about the dangers of fuel laundering to public health. He talked about the toxins that are released into the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Health, Social Services and Public Safety: Oakridge Day Centre (20 April 2015) See 1 other result from this debate

Bronwyn McGahan: Go raibh maith agat. I thank the Minister for his response. Minister, I am sure that you would acknowledge that there is a need for a new facility in the Dungannon area for those with learning disabilities. I encourage you to visit Oakridge to see it for yourself. Will the Minister commit to providing new and enhanced modern facilities for those with disabilities in the Dungannon area?

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Finance and Personnel: Rates Revaluation: Winners and Losers (20 April 2015)

Simon Hamilton: ...have seen their valuations go up by 40%, 50%, 60% and even more. Those are businesses that one would expect to be paying more, compared with the 2001 valuations of those properties, so I was not sure about the ethics of offering some support through the public purse, which is, in effect, taking it from other ratepayers and giving it to those big businesses. I was obviously concerned about...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Finance and Personnel: Private Sector: Wage Levels (20 April 2015)

Simon Hamilton: ...has fallen for 27 consecutive months and that unemployment is down at 6%, which we should welcome, there are still many businesses in Northern Ireland that are struggling. What I also know — and I am sure that many Members will know it from contact with businesses in their areas — is that, during the recession, although some businesses shed staff and, in extreme circumstances,...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Finance and Personnel: Northern Ireland Water: Pay Remit (20 April 2015)

Simon Hamilton: I recall the strike and its impact. I am sure that there are Members who represent constituencies in the west of the Province and constituents who remember it far better than the Member does or I do. The answer to her question is yes. I received the pay remit from Northern Ireland Water on my desk at the end of March. I have had it for a couple of weeks, and I have been carefully...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Finance and Personnel: Subcontractors: Payments (20 April 2015)

Simon Hamilton: ...Ireland firms. That 񋌢 billion, more or less, is being spent every year in Northern Ireland on centrally-let government public contracts, of which 75% are going to Northern Ireland firms. I am sure that we would all like to see that being higher, but it is a record that compares favourably with other jurisdictions in the British Isles. I have not been made aware of the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Finance and Personnel: Rates: Non-domestic Revaluation (20 April 2015)

Simon Hamilton: ...it is because of its effect — but because of other lifestyle changes, changes in our town centres and the effect of large out-of-town retailers. I want to look at all those and other issues to make sure that, moving forward, we have a suitable system to locally tax our businesses.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Finance and Personnel: Civil Service: Voluntary Exit Scheme (20 April 2015)

Simon Hamilton: ...to people who live in other parts of the United Kingdom. One particular area is the Social Security Agency, which has people based in Belfast and in Londonderry and the north-west — drawing, I am sure, people from the Member's constituency — who are doing work for that agency in assessing and delivering benefits for people in the south-east of England. It is incredibly...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Ministerial Statement: Enabling Success: Supporting the Transition from Economic Inactivity to Employment (20 April 2015)

Stephen Farry: ...221%. This level of economic inactivity has been a persistent feature of our economy over the past 30 years, within the ranges of 26% to 32%, irrespective of the changes in the economic cycle. I am sure that Members will agree that the figures outline the stark scale of the problem. High levels of economic inactivity represent a major structural problem in our economy, which, if...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Block Grant (14 April 2015) See 1 other result from this debate

Simon Hamilton: ...to resource expenditure over the next three years. If that was fully applied to Northern Ireland that would equate to a further 1 billion being taken out of our resource budget. I am listening attentively, as is, I am sure, everybody in the House and further afield, to what is being said by the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, as the two parties likely to lead any new...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Enterprise, Trade and Investment: Construction Industry (14 April 2015)

Arlene Foster: ...continue to provide them into the future. We may find ourselves in a situation where we have skill gaps in the future because young people have left. We need to be very aware of that and to make sure that we continue to train young people in those jobs. Although construction was down again in the last quarter, I believe that there are signs that things are beginning to pick up....

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