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 Mark Durkan Mark Durkan Social Democratic and Labour Party 1:45 pm, 16th January 2017

I thank the Minister for giving way. We have gone a bit further than when I wanted to get in.

The Minister made a point — it is a point that has been made by his party colleagues and his estranged partners in government — about every other party in the Chamber voting against a £500 million mitigation fund. What parties voted against was the Fresh Start Agreement, which was foisted on the other Executive parties at the time, I have to say, 25 minutes or half an hour before an Executive meeting. This element of Fresh Start is very good — brilliant. Who would oppose mitigation of these draconian measures? However, we were not in a position to cherry-pick bits of it, and the other bits of it have well and truly unravelled. It is evident to everyone in here, everyone out there and everyone across the world that Fresh Start was a false dawn. Look where we are now.