I thank the Minister for his response. I am not surprised that it indicates an upward trend. Will the Minister take that into account when determining the new rent and rates rise that will be levied on those who rent Housing Executive properties? It is evident that as more and more people are now in low-paid employment, they have more difficulties in paying their Housing Executive debt.
I have listened carefully to the advice given to me. I can assure the Member that it will be so. I also want to reassure the Assembly in relation to rent arrears. This is not something that the Housing Executive takes lightly. It has a very robust policy for gathering in rent arrears. It is something that I do not take lightly either. There should be a determined effort to ensure that all tenants pay their rents; it is a tragedy when only some are actually doing so. One half pays, and the other half lets it. I do not think it is as bad as that, but I am concerned about the level of rent arrears. It is a matter that we will be considering seriously. I can assure the Member that it will not be lightly treated by any means.
I do not have a problem with doing that if is possible to do so. If it is possible, the Department will provide that information, for it is not trying to hide away from this issue. It is a good question, and I will certainly address it. I will write to the Member with all the details that he has asked for.