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Responsibility for seeking that derogation from the Treasury now rests with the Minister of Finance. Work is ongoing, but the Minister of Finance has the responsibility for taking the discussions forward. As the Member knows, when it comes to relations with the Treasury, it is the always the Minister of Finance who leads on behalf of whatever Department is impacted on, which in this case is my Department.
I thank the Minister for his response. As he said, the impact of this will very much be on his Department. Is he reassured that we are going to get a successful outcome, given the potential impact that the derogation will have on our ability to provide social housing? Is he confident that we will be able to do the work required?
The Executive recognised that the direction of travel was going to take us to this place, albeit we had to wait until the ONS took its decision. We had to know the detail of the decision and how it would have an impact in order to know how to respond. The Executive agreed that we will seek the derogation, and we have already, at that high level, agreed the strategic approach to it. It is now about seeking the derogation and then implementing the changes that will be required as a result of the ONS announcement. The swift action taken by the Executive means that I am confident that we will be able to deal with the issue effectively.