NI Assembly TV

Question Time: Finance Tuesday 20 April 2021

Minister of Finance Conor Murphy answers Members questions on 20 April 2021.

Read the Official Report (Hansard) – https://lk.nia.fyi/4A9d

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

Chapters / Questions

00:00 – Zero-carbon New Builds

1. Miss Woods asked the Minister of Finance for an update on his plans to ensure that new buildings are zero-carbon. (AQO 1906/17-22) Civil Service

Homeworking: Productivity and Post-pandemic Review

2. Ms Bunting asked the Minister of Finance to outline the work his Department has undertaken to establish the impact on productivity of civil servants working from home (WFH). (AQO 1907/17-22)

11. Ms Sugden asked the Minister of Finance whether he will review working from home arrangements for the Northern Ireland Civil Service post-pandemic. (AQO 1916/17-22)

‘The Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor: Current Profile, Potential for Recovery & Opportunities for Cooperation’

3. Mr McGuigan asked the Minister of Finance to outline his next steps following the launch of ‘The Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor: Current Profile, Potential for Recovery & Opportunities for Cooperation’ report. (AQO 1908/17-22)

LRSS: Payment Delays

4. Mr Harvey asked the Minister of Finance why applicants to the localised restrictions support scheme (LRSS) are experiencing a delay in payment. (AQO 1909/17-22)

NICS Vacancies

5. Mr Stalford asked the Minister of Finance how many vacancies there are in the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS). (AQO 1910/17-22)

Topical Questions

PSNI: Budget Allocation

T1. Mr Humphrey asked the Minister of Finance for an update on the final Budget allocation for the PSNI and to state how many new police officers that will mean, given that some 700 extra officers were promised in New Decade, New Approach (NDNA). (AQT 1211/17-22)

Business Support Schemes: Allocations

T2. Ms Brogan asked the Minister of Finance for an update on when businesses are likely to receive allocations from the new grant schemes that he announced, which are very welcome, particularly now that we are moving towards economic recovery. (AQT 1212/17-22)

Procurement Board: Environmental Criteria

T3. Ms Armstrong asked the Minister of Finance for an update on the work being done in his Department to ensure that procurement processes are changed to keep environmental practices to the fore, given that although we have an environmental target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, we might be able to do that a bit earlier if we were to change our procurement requirements to ensure that not only do our public services purchase environmentally friendly and environmentally improving items but that other companies that are funded by government follow that procurement path also. (AQT 1213/17-22)

Victims’ Payment Scheme

T4. Mr Lunn asked the Minister of Finance how he came to his assessment that the Troubles-related victims’ payment scheme, which is to open to applications next month, will be funded, given that, at the moment, three Departments, including his, plus the British Government are telling us that they cannot afford to fund the scheme, albeit the Executive Office and the Department of Finance have said that the scheme will be funded and payments will be made on time. (AQT 1214/17-22)

Procurement Board: Efficiency

T5. Mr Storey asked the Minister of Finance — after asking him to join with him, as a member of the Policing Board, in condemning the murderous attempt on the life of a part-time police constable in Limavady in the past few hours, to whom he sends his thoughts; welcoming the fact that the Minister will open the business fund tomorrow; and placing on record his appreciation to Land and Property Services (LPS) for the outstanding work that it has done — whether, in light of the fact that he has made changes to the Procurement Board, introduced social requirements and even thrown in climate change, he will also include efficiency measures, given that, already this week, two cases have been brought to him in which the problem has been procurement. (AQT 1215/17-22)