Northern Ireland Assembly Commission

Part of Oral Answers to Questions – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 12th March 2013.

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Photo of Peter Weir Peter Weir DUP 3:15 pm, 12th March 2013

I can assure you that it is at an advanced stage.  We are perhaps not at the point at which all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed, but it is anticipated that it will be there fairly early in the new financial year, so we are very close to completion. 

A number of HMRC-approved childcare voucher providers are already established in Northern Ireland.  The provisions of the voucher scheme have been approved by the Commission.  When the scheme is actually approved, which should be in the near future, there will have to be a procurement exercise to select a suitable provider for secretariat staff.  The provider is not there at present, but the intention is that, as soon as everything is there, the procurement exercise will be completed. 

It is also important to note that Revenue and Customs will formally consider the eligibility of any scheme only when all aspects of the scheme are finalised.  However, secretariat staff continue to work with the relevant HMRC liaison officers to ensure that the final scheme can be approved by them at the earliest possible opportunity.