Results 1–20 of 1616 for speaker:Reg Empey

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members’ Business: Local Government (Disqualification) Bill: Final Stage (9 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: I give no such hostage to fortune. I may speak at great length; we will see how it goes. In the past few years there has been a campaign, which my party and others have been involved in, to break up the political cartels that were accumulating huge resources from the number of jobs and income streams that they were receiving. At least one person was raking in over £500,000 in allowances and...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members’ Business: Local Government (Disqualification) Bill: Final Stage (9 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: I have recognised it for some time, and I said at the beginning that it was obvious at the early stages that people had a perfectly legitimate reason for staying on in here and in councils, because the future of this place was uncertain. If you have come to the conclusion that the future of this place is not uncertain, the rationale for remaining in councils diminishes. The obvious question...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members’ Business: Local Government (Disqualification) Bill: Final Stage (9 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: Just a moment, please. There will be national legislation, because there will be recalcitrant elements who will not bow to it. There will be those who feel that they can continue to hold the different mandates, and, ultimately, it will be resolved only by legislation.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members’ Business: Local Government (Disqualification) Bill: Final Stage (9 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: We would be delivering on this if it were not for the petition of concern, so we could have ticked the box to say that at least we had done our bit. The Secretary of State will deal with his matters in his own time, and he has indicated that, perhaps, before 2013, he will introduce legislation. I hope that that is the case. We could deal with our own things. We are happy to say that we are so...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Budget 2011-15: Programme for Expenditure (9 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: At the beginning of the debate, the Minister of Finance said that this is the most important single task that the Assembly has performed in four years. We spent hours and days, quite properly, on high hedges. We have held debates over the past four years that would have embarrassed a parish council. Yet, when it comes to the most important single task that the Assembly has performed in four...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Budget 2011-15: Programme for Expenditure (9 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: No; I am not giving way. The very simple matter that I want to address is why there is disagreement here today. It is perfectly natural and normal. Indeed, different opinions are to be expected in any democratic society, including one with a mandatory coalition. There would be something wrong with us if that did not happen. I have been conscious of how that has arisen, in and out of the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Budget 2011-15: Programme for Expenditure (9 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: I disagree with the Finance Minister when he says how well the Health Department has been treated. What he does not say is that, when the Assembly term started in 2007, the Health Department was £600 million behind to begin with. In addition, this country’s demographics — the number of children being born and the number of people over the age of 65 — show that our population is the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Budget 2011-15: Programme for Expenditure (9 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: They can heckle — I am used to that, Mr Speaker; it will not stop me. The decision for the Assembly is simple: either we provide the funding or accept a lower level of service. Given the inevitable consequences of that decision, we are looking at significant hospital closures, because there are more hospitals per capita in Northern Ireland than in any other part of the United Kingdom. We...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Budget 2011-15: Programme for Expenditure (9 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Is this debate going to be punctuated by P1 and P2 people behaving in the way that they are and sniping at every Member who speaks?

Northern Ireland Assembly: Justice: Community Safety Partnerships (8 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: I raised this issue with the Minister during discussions on the Justice Bill, but with CPLCs, PACTs and the DPCSPs, it would be possible to deliver an essay without saying a word. Does the Minister agree that, although we encourage engagement between the police and the community, having to attend so many different meetings puts a huge burden on the Police Service of Northern Ireland? If...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Justice Bill: Further Consideration Stage (7 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: I can make it clear. The official indicated to me that, in addition to needing the power to distribute the money from criminal assets recovery, the power was needed for distribution for other reasons other than that particular jam jar full of money; it was needed for disbursement purposes from a wider position than the criminal assets disbursements.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Justice Bill: Further Consideration Stage (7 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: I support the amendments. As he did in the debate two weeks ago, Lord Morrow has put forward strong, coherent reasons why the amendments should be passed. Obviously, whenever anything about firearms is mentioned in this country, it is perfectly natural that there is reluctance and concern, which the Department and the Minister expressed. However, we must remember that we are talking about...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Justice Bill: Further Consideration Stage (7 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: I am sorry to interrupt again, Mr Deputy Speaker, but I am not prepared to accept the argument that people here exported bigotry. People here, in fact, have a record that is second to none in bringing forward to other parts of the world freedoms and the whole concept of a parliamentary democracy. It was largely people from here who constructed the constitution of the United States and,...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Justice Bill: Further Consideration Stage (7 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: We understand the Member’s final point, but the problem is fixable. There is no reason why the issue cannot be addressed in the new mandate. There is flexibility to do so because the Minister already told us that he will introduce a further Bill to address other issues. It is, therefore, perfectly reasonable and possible to include a clause in that Bill to deal with this issue after a...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Justice Bill: Further Consideration Stage (7 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: I do not dispute any of that. I am just making the point that the more complicated things become, the harder it is and the greater the burden we place on the police officer on the day. That is all I am saying. I accept that there are parallels, and the Member has drawn attention to some of them. I come back to the point that my colleague Basil McCrea made. If that was a fundamental objective...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Justice Bill: Further Consideration Stage (7 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: I am saying the very opposite. Maybe I misheard what Mr McCartney said. I am talking about the proposal to define sectarianism. I am saying that “sectarianism” itself was not in the original Bill. A definition of “sectarian” was not in the Bill. We have been dealing with amendments, and it was the amendments that sparked the major debate on 22 February 2011. We had an original...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Justice Bill: Further Consideration Stage (7 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: As you said, Mr Speaker, at this point, we are in danger of moving into a completely different debate, although it is one that I think needs to be held because of the whole question of sectarianism. Anybody who has been watching their television in recent days, particularly around the sporting arena, will realise there are clearly issues that need to be addressed. We also have to remember...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Justice Bill: Further Consideration Stage (7 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: I am grateful to the Minister for giving way. He is actually going with the grain with regard to how most Members of the House and, indeed, the Committee feel about things. Nobody is arguing that there should not be a duty on public bodies. However, where I agree with John O’Dowd and others is that in all of these things, it is a question of balance: in other words, to give a push to public...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Justice Bill: Further Consideration Stage (7 Mar 2011)

Reg Empey: In view of what has just transpired, I will not comment at this stage.


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