Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Monday, 06 February 2012

Venue: Assembly Chamber

The Assembly met at noon, the Speaker in the Chair.

1. Personal Prayer or Meditation

Members observed two minutes’ silence.

2. Matter of the Day

2.1 60th Anniversary of the Accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the Throne

The Rt Hon Mr Peter Robinson made a statement, under Standing Order 24, in relation to the 60th Anniversary of the Accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the Throne. Party representatives were also called to speak on the matter.

3. Assembly Business

3.1 Motion - Suspend Standing Orders 10(2) to 10(4)
Proposed:

That Standing Orders 10(2) to 10(4) be suspended for 6 February 2012.

Mr P Weir
Ms J McCann
Mr J McCallister
Mr P Ramsey
Mr S Dickson

The Question being put, the Motion was carried with cross-community support. Nemine contradicente.

4. Committee Business

4.1 Motion - Committee Membership
Proposed:

That Mrs Sandra Overend replace Mr Mike Nesbitt as a member of the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment; that Mr Fra McCann replace Mrs Sandra Overend as a member of the Committee for Employment and Learning; and that Mr David McNarry replace Mr Michael Copeland as a member of the Committee for Regional Development.

Mr J McCallister
Mr R Swann
Ms J McCann
Mr P Maskey

The Question being put, the Motion was carried without division.

5.    Executive Committee Business

5.1       Statement - Speeding Up Justice

The Minister of Justice, Mr David Ford, made a statement regarding Speeding up Justice, following which he replied to questions.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr Dallat) took the Chair.

5.2       Further Consideration Stage - Rates (Amendment) Bill (NIA Bill 2/11-15)

The Minister of Finance and Personnel, Mr Sammy Wilson, moved the Further Consideration Stage of the Rates (Amendment) Bill (NIA Bill 2/11-15).

Two amendments were tabled to the Bill.

After debate, Amendment 1 to Clause 2 was made without division.

After debate, Amendment 2 to Clause 3 was made without division.

Bill NIA 2/11-15 passed Further Consideration Stage and stood referred to the Speaker for consideration in accordance with section 10 of the Northern Ireland Act.

6. Committee Business (Cont’d)

6.1 Motion - Widening Access to Education Maintenance Allowance
Proposed:

That this Assembly calls on the Minister for Employment and Learning, in conjunction with his Executive colleagues, to expedite the finalisation and implementation of an effective and cross-departmental strategy for young people Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEETs) and the on-going Review of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), in order to address the issues of record levels of youth unemployment and increasing disengagement with mainstream education; and to make the necessary improvements to ensure that EMA is targeted at those in greatest need.

Chairperson, Committee for Employment and Learning

Debate ensued.

The Speaker took the Chair.

The debate was suspended for Question Time.

7. Assembly Business (Cont’d)

7.1 Committee Chairperson Appointment

The Speaker informed Members that he had received notification from Ms Michelle Gildernew that she would be indisposed for a number of weeks, following an accident and had resigned as Chairperson of the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety. The nominating officer from Sinn Féin, Mr Pat Doherty, had nominated Ms Sue Ramsey to fill the vacancy and she had accepted the appointment. The Speaker also advised Members that as a Member may not be the Chairperson of a Statutory Committee and a Standing Committee at the same time, Ms Ramsey had been replaced as the Chairperson of the Committee on Procedures by Mr Gerry Kelly, who had also accepted the appointment.

8. Question Time

8.1 Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister

Questions were put to, and answered by, the First Minister, the Rt Hon Peter Robinson. Junior Minister, Mr Jonathan Bell, also answered a number of questions.

8.2 Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Mrs Arlene Foster.

9. Committee Business (Cont’d)

8.1 Motion - Widening Access to Education Maintenance Allowance (Cont’d)

Debate resumed on the motion.

The Question being put, the Motion was carried without division.

The Principal Deputy Speaker (Mr Molloy) took the Chair.

10.  Private Members’ Business

10.1 Motion - Car Insurance
Proposed:

That this Assembly notes with concern the soaring cost of insurance in Northern Ireland; and calls on the Minister of Justice to intervene to ensure that the payment of compensation claims is capped, and that cases are heard in lower courts.

Mr A McQuillan
Mr G Campbell

10.2 Amendment 1
Proposed:

Leave out all after ‘Justice’ and insert:

‘ to review the level of general damages paid in whip-lash type injuries and further review the jurisdiction in which cases are heard to ensure that court and legal costs are kept to a minimum.’

Mr A McQuillan
Mr G Campbell

10.3 Amendment 2
Proposed:

Leave out all after ‘capped’ and insert:

‘; furthermore calls on the Minister to introduce an efficient protocol for low value personal injury claims such as that contained in the Civil Procedures Rules 1998 for England and Wales, and to enable cases to be heard in lower courts, where appropriate.’

Mr R Beggs
Mr B McCrea

Debate ensued.

Amendment No 2 was, by leave, withdrawn.

The Question being put, amendment No 1, was agreed without division.

The Question being put, the Motion, as amended, was carried without division.

10.4 Motion - Regulation of the Local Home Heating Oil Industry

Proposed:

That this Assembly notes that home heating oil has the most variable price of any heating fuel; further notes that a growing number of households have no choice but to purchase 20 litre drums of oil that are significantly more expensive per litre than buying in bulk; and calls on the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to introduce legislation, as soon as possible, to regulate the local home heating oil industry.

Mr P Flanagan
Mr D McKay
Ms S Ramsey

10.5 Amendment
Proposed:

Leave out all after ‘notes’ and insert:

‘ with concern, Northern Ireland’s over-reliance on our unregulated home heating oil market; and calls on the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to engage further with the Office of Fair Trading, the Consumer Council and the Utility Regulator, whilst also encouraging pre-payment schemes operated by local Councils, with a view to addressing consumer concerns.’ 

Mr T Lunn
Mr S Dickson
Mr K McCarthy
Mrs J Cochrane

Debate ensued.

The Speaker took the Chair.

The Question being put, amendment No 1, was agreed, division 1.

The Question being put, the Motion, as amended, was carried without division.

11.  Adjournment

Proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

The Speaker

The Assembly adjourned at 7.03pm.

Mr William Hay
The Speaker
6 February 2012

Northern Ireland Assembly

6 February 2012
Divisions

Division No. 1

 Regulation of the Local Home Heating Oil Industry      

Proposed: Leave out all after ‘notes’ and insert:

‘ with concern, Northern Ireland’s over-reliance on our unregulated home heating oil market; and calls on the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to engage further with the Office of Fair Trading, the Consumer Council and the Utility Regulator, whilst also encouraging pre-payment schemes operated by local Councils, with a view to addressing consumer concerns.’

Mr T Lunn
Mr S Dickson
Mr K McCarthy
Mrs J Cochrane

The Question was put and the Assembly divided.

Ayes: 50
Noes: 28

Ayes

Mr S Anderson, Mr Beggs, Mr Bell, Ms P Bradley, Mr Buchanan, Mr Campbell, Mr T Clarke, Mrs Cochrane, Mr Copeland, Mr Douglas, Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mr Elliott, Dr Farry, Mr Ford, Mrs Foster, Mr Frew, Mr Girvan, Mr Givan, Mrs Hale, Mr Hamilton, Mr Hilditch, Mr Humphrey, Mr Irwin, Mr Kennedy, Mr Kinahan, Ms Lewis, Ms Lo, Mr Lunn, Mr Lyttle, Mr McCallister, Mr McCarthy, Mr McCausland, Mr B McCrea, Mr I McCrea, Mr D McIlveen, Miss M McIlveen, Mr McQuillan, Lord Morrow, Mr Moutray, Mr Nesbitt, Mr Newton, Mrs Overend, Mr G Robinson, Mr Ross, Mr Spratt, Mr Storey, Mr Swann, Mr Weir, Mr Wells.

Tellers for the Ayes: Ms Lo and Mr McCarthy.

Noes

Mr Agnew, Ms M Anderson, Mr Boylan, Ms Boyle, Mr Brady, Mr W Clarke, Mr Flanagan, Mr G Kelly, Mr Lynch, Mr F McCann, Ms J McCann, Mr McCartney, Mr McElduff, Mr McGlone, Mr McKay, Mr McLaughlin, Mr McMullan, Mr A Maginness, Mr A Maskey, Mr P Maskey, Mr Murphy, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mr Ó hOisín, Mr O’Dowd, Mrs O’Neill, Ms S Ramsey, Ms Ritchie, Ms Ruane.

Tellers for the Noes: Mr Flanagan and Mr McKay.

The amendment was made.

Northern Ireland Assembly

Papers Presented to the Assembly on 1-6 February 2012

 

1. Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly

2. Bills of the Northern Ireland Assembly

Rates (Amendment) Bill (As Amended at Consideration Stage)

3. Orders in Council

4. Publications Laid in the Northern Ireland Assembly

Electoral Office for Northern Ireland Retention and Disposal Schedule (DCAL)

Labour Relations Agency Draft Code of Practice - Time Off for Trade Union Duties and Activities (DEL)

5. Assembly Reports

6. Statutory Rules

S.R. 2012/17 The Road Traffic (Financial Penalty Deposit) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DOE)

S.R. 2012/18 The Road Traffic (Financial Penalty Deposit) (Appropriate Amount) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DOE)

S.R. 2012/19 The Road Traffic (Immobilisation, Removal and Disposal of Vehicles) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DOE)

For Information Only:

S.R. 2012/16 (C.3) The Road Traffic (2007 Order) (Commencement No.9) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DOE)

S.R. 2012/20 (C.4) The High Hedges (2011 Act) (Commencement) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 (DOE)

7. Written Ministerial Statements

8. Consultation Documents

Consultation on Proposals for the Mutual Recognition of Probation Measures, Licence Supervision, and Alternative Sanctions across Member States of the European Union (DOJ)

9. Departmental Publications

Northern Ireland Spring Supplementary Estimates 2011-2012 and Vote on Account 2012-13 (DFP)

10. Agency Publications

11.  Westminster Publications

12. Miscellaneous Publications

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