NI Assembly TV

Question Time: Finance Monday 15 March 2021

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy answers Members questions on 15 March 2021. Read the Official Report (Hansard).

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

Chapters / Questions

00:00 – Summer Schemes: Departmental Bids

1. Mr Butler asked the Minister of Finance to outline any bids made by the Department of Education or the Department for Communities for potential summer schemes to mitigate the effects of lost school and socialisation time due to COVID-19.

03:32 – Zero-carbon Buildings

2. Mr Muir asked the Minister of Finance what plans he has to use his power regarding building regulations to achieve the aim of zero-carbon buildings.

08:28 – Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment Scheme

3. Ms Dillon asked the Minister of Finance for an update on funding for the Troubles permanent disablement payment scheme.

15. Dr Aiken asked the Minister of Finance whether he will publish the information received by his Department from the Government Actuary’s Department regarding the estimated cost of the Troubles permanent disablement payment scheme.

15:03 – Localised Restrictions Support Scheme

4. Mr McHugh asked the Minister of Finance to outline the total spend under the localised restrictions support scheme in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.

14. Ms Sheerin asked the Minister of Finance to outline the total spend under the localised restrictions support scheme in Mid Ulster.

19:01 – Social Enterprises: Public Contracts

5. Ms Anderson asked the Minister of Finance, in relation to reform of the Procurement Board, whether the new security of supply and social value initiative will help increase the capacity of local social enterprises to bid for public contracts.

24:15 – Social Enterprises: Dormant Accounts Fund

6. Ms Flynn asked the Minister of Finance for an update on the roll-out of the dormant accounts fund for social enterprises.

26:17 – Civil Servants: Pay Award

7. Ms Dolan asked the Minister of Finance for an update on the pay award for civil servants.

Topical Questions

30:07 – Green New Deal

T1. Mr Blair asked the Minister of Finance whether he will lead on a green new deal strategy for Northern Ireland, given that there is no doubt that the pressing issues of the climate emergency and environmental protection require interdepartmental strategy actions and budgeting.

31:57 – Sports Sustainability Fund

T2. Ms P Bradley asked the Minister of Finance, after thanking Land and Property Services for all the work that it has done to assist her office with many enquiries over the past year, whether there is any redress for clubs that although they should have applied for the sports sustainability fund — they are sports clubs — were led to believe that they would get localised restrictions support scheme (LRSS) money, but, when the mistake was realised, it was too late for them to apply for the sports sustainability fund, albeit she knows from correspondence that decisions have been overturned for some social clubs that have since received the LRSS money.

35:04 – Fiscal Council/Fiscal Commission

T4. Mr Muir asked the Minister of Finance, after declaring that his mum is a retired member of the health and social care system, to outline, following his announcement on Friday of the appointment of members to the fiscal council and the fiscal commission, his plans for the relationship between those bodies and to ensure that the fiscal commission takes into account how we currently spend our money when considering tax-varying powers.

38:11 – Fiscal Council/Fiscal Commission

T5. Mr O’Toole asked the Minister of Finance, after admitting that he is slightly geeky about this subject, to give a timeline for when the legislation referred to in his statement regarding the fiscal council will be introduced and to clarify that the council will be fundamentally independent from the Department of Finance, which is critical given that, at times, the council will be required to say difficult things in order to do its job properly.

41:41 – Reform of Property Management Project

T6. Mr M Bradley asked the Minister of Finance, after welcoming the reform of property management project, which is focused on making a more efficient use of the government estate, and the Minister’s commitment to promote regional recovery and regeneration in areas across Northern Ireland, to give his rationale for excluding Coleraine as a hub and, in doing so, preventing the people of the north coast and the north-east of Northern Ireland from being part of the recovery and regeneration.