Housing Benefit (Welfare Supplementary Payment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 1:45 pm on 16th January 2017.

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Photo of Paul Givan Paul Givan DUP 1:45 pm, 16th January 2017

I agree to that. Should the Examiner of Statutory Rules, as has happened with regulations, identify that there could be issues, that is something that, obviously, the Assembly would need to deal with. People need to be honest in the debate. I need to be, I will be and I always am. The regulations are the best option in the circumstances we face, but they are by no means the most appropriate option in a normal functioning democracy for taking legislation through and giving it the scrutiny it requires.

Given the response made by Sinn Féin, I regret the way in which the Finance Minister engaged on this. Ultimately, I was right, and he was wrong. He was wrong in the advice he gave. Therefore, his credibility has been shot to pieces, as he has gone out repeatedly on a range of issues making promises. The approach that I am taking and that Members will vote on shoots his credibility through the floor. He has been wrong on a range of issues, and, rather than trying, as I have done in the unprecedented circumstances, to deal with bedroom tax — my Executive colleague Mr Hamilton is trying to deal with RHI, and we are bringing regulations forward — he should have been engaging in getting a Budget through as an emergency procedure. But, again, more important to Sinn Féin is the republican agenda that goes to the core of what its tactics have been and what this election is all about.