Rating Policy

Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 12:15 pm on 22nd November 2016.

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Photo of Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Sinn Féin 12:15 pm, 22nd November 2016

That is a fair question. As you know, we really did not do that with the last scheme, but that was in the mouth and the maw of a terrible economic crisis. With this scheme, it maybe needs to evaluated every two years, but certainly no longer than that. I think that you will agree, as a former Minister for the Economy, that Neil Gibson's Economic Policy Centre does good work. We are happy with the work that it does. As I said, we are commissioning in other areas, and I would be very happy if it is the body that is commissioned.

We cannot rely on anecdotal evidence and need to assess whether this is working. If it is not working, we need to do something else. I am confident that it will work. As you know, some stakeholders are very supportive and some are not so supportive, but we need to get it right, and, if we do not have the evidence, we will not really know what we are doing. I am happy to work through with the Member how we gather evidence; how we decide whether it is having the desired effect; how we can ensure that it does not have effects that we do not want; and how we can augment and enhance what is working well for us and abandon things that are not working.