I beg to move
I do not intend to address the content of the Bill to any great extent. This is a seven-clause Bill with a single aim, which is to ensure that citizens in Northern Ireland whose land has been subject to compulsory purchase are treated equally to their counterparts in England and Wales who enjoy enhanced compensation payments. The Bill will bring us into line with the more favourable position in England and Wales by reflecting the legislative changes introduced there with the abolition of farm loss payments and the introduction of two new payments: a basic loss payment and an occupier's loss payment.
The Bill was introduced to the House on 22 February, and the accelerated passage and Second Stage debates took place on 1 March. I am grateful to the Members of the Assembly for the contributions they made to those debates. I would like to place on record my thanks to the Chairman and the members of the Committee for Regional Development and to all my Assembly colleagues for their cooperation and agreement to the Bill proceeding by way of the accelerated passage process. Without that cooperation, it would not be possible for the Bill to have reached all its Assembly stages within this mandate. The fact that no amendments were tabled at either Consideration Stage on 7 March or, indeed, at Further Consideration Stage on 14 March further indicates, I believe, that Members of the Assembly are content with the purpose of the Bill.
With that, I am happy to respond to any comments Members may wish to make during the debate.