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Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:09 pm on 24th October 2018.

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Photo of Gavin Robinson Gavin Robinson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Defence) 3:09 pm, 24th October 2018

Absolutely. The unexplained wealth orders are a key example of how we should have extension of those provisions for Northern Ireland.

I mentioned the courageous nature of some decisions, and I know that Sir Mike Penning will agree with me that the Department of Health in Northern Ireland was incredibly courageous in making the changes required through regulation to allow for medicinal cannabis prescriptions. We wanted to see those English and Welsh regulations extended to Northern Ireland, and it has been done through another vehicle, and we are grateful for that.

Here is a key example of where it goes wrong. When the definition of co-ownership housing associations in Northern Ireland was not changed because we did not have an Assembly, but it was changed for England, Scotland and Wales, the derogation offered by the Treasury stopped. That means that if somebody does not take the opportunity to change that definitional issue now for Northern Ireland, our co-ownership schemes will not be able to use financial transaction capital tax, and it will not have the budget to provide the social houses that are required or the social mechanism through which somebody can purchase a home for the future. That is a disgrace.