NI Assembly TV

Question Time: Executive Office Monday 22 February 2021

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill answers Members questions in the Assembly Chamber 22 February 2021. Read the Official Report (Hansard) – https://lk.nia.fyi/3Cju

Each of the questions answered have been chaptered in the video to help you find them more easily.

Chapters / Questions

00:00 – Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

Questions 1,2 and 3 were taken together.

1. Dr Aiken asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister for an update on their engagement with the European Commission on the impact of the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. (AQO 1597/17-22)

2. Mr O’Toole asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister what steps they are taking to maximise the benefits from Northern Ireland’s unique dual-market access under the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. (AQO 1598/17-22)

3. Dr Archibald asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister for their assessment of the recent joint statement by the European Commission and the British Government on the implementation of the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. (AQO 1599/17-22)

11:47 – Hate Crime

4. Ms Brogan asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister for an update on how the racial equality strategy 2015-2025 is addressing racism and eradicating hate crime. (AQO 1600/17-22)

22:47 – Victims’ Payment Schemes: Funding

Questions 5, 6 and 10 were taken together.

5. Mrs D Kelly asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister for an update on discussions with the Secretary of State on funding for the Troubles-related-incident victims’ payment scheme. (AQO 1601/17-22)

6. Mr Beggs asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister for an update on the Troubles permanent disablement payment scheme. (AQO 1602/17-22)

10. Ms Dolan asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister for an update on the Troubles-related-incident victims’ payment scheme. (AQO 1606/17-22)

Topical Questions

29:36 – Electoral Register: False Information

T1. Mr T Buchanan asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister, given that the deputy First Minister will be aware that a census is due to be carried out in the coming months to provide us with an up-to-date, accurate record of all who will be eligible to vote at the next elections, whether the deputy First Minister will take this opportunity to correct the false and factually incorrect information that she and her party put out across the media that this was solely an exercise to purge eligible voters from the register in Northern Ireland. (AQT 1011/17-22)

31:41 – Abortion Services

T2. Ms Sheerin asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister, in light of the legal and human rights imperative to provide modern, accessible and compassionate abortion services here, whether the deputy First Minister agrees that it is the sole responsibility of the Health Minister to implement those services. (AQT 1012/17-22)

33:26 – COVID-19: Vaccination Roll-out

T4. Miss McIlveen asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister, in light of the positive news today from Scotland in relation to data, which demonstrates that the roll-out of the vaccination programme has led to a significant reduction in the number of people who are being hospitalised, whether the deputy First Minister can confirm that that type of data will be included in future modelling here to inform decisions to move Northern Ireland out of the current restrictions more quickly. (AQT 1014/17-22)

35:45 – Victims’ Payment Scheme: Delays

T5. Mr Allister asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister whether the deputy First Minister would like to take this opportunity to apologise to innocent victims for the added hurt and trauma that all the delays, at her insistence, to the victims’ payment scheme have caused them, given that the High Court has had to call out the Executive Office, not once but twice, on failures in respect of the victims’ payment scheme and, very pointedly in the first case, made criticisms that were personal to the deputy First Minister. (AQT 1015/17-22)

38:57 – COVID-19: Republic of Ireland Vaccination Roll-out

T6. Mr Givan asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister, after asking the deputy First Minister to join him in commending the roll-out of the vaccination programme in Northern Ireland, with the number of people who have now received the vaccine heading towards a third of the population, which is replicated across the United Kingdom, how concerned the deputy First Minister is that only around 5% to 6% of the population of the Republic of Ireland has been vaccinated and to state how much of a threat that is to the people of Northern Ireland. (AQT 1016/17-22)

41:45 – Casement Park

T7. Mr McHugh asked the First Minister and deputy First Minister for an update on the importance of resolving the delay to the Casement Park development, which is an Executive flagship project. (AQT 1017/17-22)