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Northern Ireland Assembly: Opposition Business: State Pension: Impact of Changes on Women (26 Sep 2016)

Jennifer Palmer: ...population. Pensions have the potential to be the millstone around the neck of future Governments if they are not properly funded and addressed. It is common sense that the Government must make sure that they are adequately resourced going forward. That said, there are few things so clearly deserved as the state pension: the quintessential promise that, if you work hard for your whole...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Opposition Business: Rural Bank Closures (26 Sep 2016)

Patsy McGlone: ...Draperstown and Maghera, and we can look at the number of self-starters, self-employed people and very productive businesses in that area, many of which are into manufacturing and exporting. I am sure the Minister can verify that from stats from his Department. The banks actually get this and say, "Yes, we know", but what are they doing about it? They are withdrawing their services from...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Renewable Energy (26 Sep 2016)

Simon Hamilton: ...the diary — I cannot remember for exactly when — with renewable sector representative organisations in the next number of weeks, at which I will be happy to discuss some of the issues that, I am sure, they will raise. The Member describes it as a "vacuum". I said that we have 900 MW of renewable energy already on the grid, 700 MW with offers to go on to the grid and a further...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Broadband Contracts: Autumn Review (26 Sep 2016)

Sandra Overend: I look forward to receiving that information. I am sure that he will appreciate the large number of entrepreneurial people in my Mid Ulster constituency and how important broadband is to them. I really would like the Minister to be able to advise what the autumn review will involve, what contracts will be examined and what timescale is expected for its completion.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Brexit: Financial Shortfall (26 Sep 2016)

Daniel McCrossan: I thank the Minister for his answer. I would not say that it is complaining; it is delivering a message from the ground and I am sure you have heard it loud and clear at this stage. You have talked about what the benefits will be when Brexit comes, and Brexit has not yet come. What are these great benefits that you are telling us about?

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Dark Hedges (26 Sep 2016)

Simon Hamilton: ...of its own success. If a range of organisations, including my Department and Tourism NI, were, perhaps, caught out, it was because nobody could have foreseen how big a success it would be. I am sure that the Member is a huge fan of the show and binges on box sets all the time. [Laughter.] I do not want to spoil it for anybody, but, as the Member will know, it appears on the show for only...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Economy: Belfast Manifesto (26 Sep 2016)

Simon Hamilton: ...foreign direct investors, or indeed existing investors and indigenous firms, to ensure that they get the skills pipeline that they require. The Member has identified an issue around funding. I am sure that every Minister who comes to the House has issues and pressures in respect of elements of their budget. I know that the skills budget has been under pressure in the last number of...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Communities: Subregional Football Stadia: Funding (26 Sep 2016)

Paul Givan: ...was made very strongly. Ultimately, as with every other club, Larne Football Club will be assessed against the criteria when they are agreed. I will not be able to pick out my preferences: I am sure Lisburn Distillery would like me to be able to do so but unfortunately that is not how it works, and Members know that. There will be criteria. I hope to finalise the programme and have a...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Communities: Jobs and Benefits Offices (26 Sep 2016)

Paul Givan: .... At times, that results in change. I accept that that then creates turbulence and can cause a lot of discomfort for some of the individuals who have to go through it. Obviously, I want to make sure that we take into account all the information that people will provide as part of the consultation process.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Communities: Benefit Take-up (26 Sep 2016)

Robin Swann: I thank the Minister for the update on those schemes. Equally important to targeting people who need benefits and are in receipt of them is to make sure that those who are not entitled to them do not get them. He may be aware that up to £800,000 was paid to prisoners between 2011 and 2014 and, since the system's upgrade, that data is no longer kept. What steps is he taking to recoup...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Opposition Business: NAMA Revelations: Public Confidence (26 Sep 2016)

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir: ...as he says, we get to the truth. He suggested that the Executive should not be allowed a veto on the investigation. Perhaps he is on the Finance Committee and has met the NCA; I do not know. If he does meet the NCA, the FBI or the gardaí, he will be sure that there will not be any veto by anyone over the criminal investigations. That is why Sinn Féin has supported a...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments (Digital Mapping System) (22 Sep 2016)

Fergus Ewing: I do not believe that the Audit Scotland report criticised the mapping system per se, and I was encouraged—as I am sure the member will have been—by the very positive reaction to my announcement in a statement to Parliament that, to deal with the difficulties, we are bringing forward a national loan scheme of up to £300 million, which will be injected into the rural economy...

Scottish Parliament: Energy Storage Systems (22 Sep 2016)

Kenneth Macintosh: I am not entirely sure that that is the question in the Business Bulletin , Mr Torrance. Can you answer that question, minister?

Scottish Parliament: Engagements (22 Sep 2016)

...and then we have to entrust the decisions in individual cases to the independent judges and sheriffs who make those decisions. My responsibility as First Minister—it is one that I take very seriously—is to make sure that we get the policy framework right. In seeking to do that, we will always listen to views, and we certainly always look at the evidence that tells us whether...

Scottish Parliament: Cabinet (Meetings) (22 Sep 2016)

.... I think that Scotland was the first country in the world to introduce a target for access to mental health treatment for children and adolescents. We recognise that we have more work to do to make sure that all children and young people get the access to mental health services that they deserve. We have been increasing investment in those services and increasing the number of clinicians...

Scottish Parliament: Paralympians (22 Sep 2016)

Nicola Sturgeon: I am sure that everyone in the chamber and across Scotland is proud of the achievements of the 33 Scottish para athletes who were part of team GB and the 17 medals that they brought home to Scotland. I am certainly looking forward to welcoming our Paralympians and Olympians home at a reception next week at Oriam, our new national sports performance centre at Heriot-Watt University . The event...

Scottish Parliament: Standing Safe Campaign (22 Sep 2016)

Christina McKelvie: .... In the Scottish Parliament, we are setting out a concrete, visible series of measures that are designed to get us closer to that ultimate aim of personal safety and of ensuring that people can stand safe from any violent or sexual assault. I am sure that members across all parties will work together to ensure that that happens. Just last week, we were in the chamber debating the...

Scottish Parliament: Local Taxation (22 Sep 2016)

Derek Mackay: ...itself when it concluded: “We recognise that political parties in Scotland will attach different weights to the considerations we have set out ... and will therefore draw different conclusions about the best way forward.” I am sure that that recognition of different and perfectly valid views will be reflected in today’s debate. In having the debate, we are implicitly...

Scottish Parliament: Events (22 Sep 2016)

Fiona Hyslop: ..., create authentic event experiences and ensure that attendances remain strong. We have just had a fantastic summer of sports events in Scotland, and we have also witnessed some amazing performances by Scots at events outside Scotland. I am sure that members across the chamber will wish to join me in paying tribute to all of team Great Britain who competed in Rio at the Olympics and the...

Scottish Parliament: Railways (Performance) (22 Sep 2016)

Humza Yousaf: ..., as the member suggests. I know that Neil Bibby is usually a ray of eternal sunshine and positivity, and I ask him to think positively about the issue. The improvement plan has been requested, and I am sure that improvements will be made and there will be action in that regard. Let us get some perspective. Yes, the PPM target has been missed by 1.6 per cent. I will certainly push ScotRail...


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