22/02/2016 Stormont Today


22/02/2016

A political programme focusing on the day's events at the Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive. Mark Carruthers is the guide through the corridors of power at Stormont.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 22/02/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Two Bs dominated this afternoon's proceedings on the hill -

:00:25.:00:28.

While the House of Commons debated the implications

:00:29.:00:31.

of a possible British exit from the EU,

:00:32.:00:35.

MLAs were keen to have their say on the issue too.

:00:36.:00:37.

And members debated the significance of last week's job losses

:00:38.:00:40.

at the Canadian aerospace company Bombardier.

:00:41.:00:43.

With the date of the EU referendum firmly in the diary,

:00:44.:00:47.

local parties begin to declare their positions.

:00:48.:00:55.

We believe that in terms of the united Kingdom and Northern Ireland,

:00:56.:01:00.

we are safer and better out, with more money and control.

:01:01.:01:02.

1,000 jobs are to go at Bombardier, the Enterprise Minister says

:01:03.:01:07.

the Executive must work together to move manufacturing forward.

:01:08.:01:12.

Confidence in the industry drives jobs. Confidence drives

:01:13.:01:16.

apprenticeships. Confidence is key. is our Political Correspondent,

:01:17.:01:19.

Stephen Walker. The starting pistol's been fired

:01:20.:01:29.

for the EU referendum debate and while it's an issue that'll

:01:30.:01:33.

affect the UK as a whole, the parties here do have their own

:01:34.:01:36.

very particular reasons for wanting

:01:37.:01:38.

to keep things as they are, MPs packed the Commons chamber

:01:39.:01:40.

to take part in today's debate there, and while there was

:01:41.:01:44.

no formal debate on the issue in the Assembly, that didn't stop

:01:45.:01:46.

local politicians wanting to give their various

:01:47.:01:48.

positions an airing. We waited to hear what David Cameron

:01:49.:01:59.

would deliver out of his negotiations. Everybody agrees it is

:02:00.:02:03.

rather thin gruel, as one of his colleagues said, it does not deliver

:02:04.:02:08.

the fundamental reform he promised, it does not give us control of our

:02:09.:02:13.

borders or money or our laws. So we believe that in terms of the United

:02:14.:02:17.

Kingdom and Northern Ireland, we are safer and better out with more money

:02:18.:02:22.

and control. We are recommending that a party that people thought

:02:23.:02:26.

leaves when it comes to the European round the end, but we understand it

:02:27.:02:31.

is not an election, it is a referendum, and people will have

:02:32.:02:34.

different views so are free to hold those views. -- when it comes to the

:02:35.:02:38.

European referendum. But our party are recommending very strongly that

:02:39.:02:44.

people bought Julie. Are DUP representatives allowed to take

:02:45.:02:47.

another position publicly? The position of the party and elected

:02:48.:02:51.

the presenter Des are preventative of the party and the party's

:02:52.:02:56.

position are that people should vote to leave. It is now very strong view

:02:57.:03:00.

that the overwhelming majority of people, plus the business community,

:03:01.:03:05.

and we await with interest what the farming community and food industry

:03:06.:03:11.

have to say about this in the time ahead, I certainly think our

:03:12.:03:15.

universities also believe in staying in the Europe. And it is ludicrous,

:03:16.:03:22.

a ludicrous situation that I will be travelling next month with Arlene to

:03:23.:03:30.

the United States, Theresa Villiers will also be there, as she has been

:03:31.:03:34.

for the last number of years, and it will be very interesting to see how

:03:35.:03:43.

Theresa Villiers speaks to the potential for investment people who

:03:44.:03:50.

are looking at our proposition. In the course of quite a number of

:03:51.:03:54.

engagements that Peter Robinson and I were involved in over a 56 period,

:03:55.:04:00.

where we had access to the State Department, economic investment

:04:01.:04:03.

conferences, from the most powerful business people in the world, all of

:04:04.:04:09.

them expressed concern about the prospect of the British government

:04:10.:04:14.

having a referendum which could result in an exit from Europe full.

:04:15.:04:21.

We have put in place what we need to do to make a decision, which is to

:04:22.:04:25.

call a meeting of the party Executive that should happen next

:04:26.:04:28.

week. In the meantime, we want to listen to people and I am a little

:04:29.:04:32.

surprised we are going to be the only one of the big five year at

:04:33.:04:37.

Stormont who are prepared to listen to the business community, the

:04:38.:04:40.

voluntary and community sector and everybody else who will be impacted

:04:41.:04:44.

by this decision. But that is what we are going to do over the next two

:04:45.:04:46.

days, listen and reflect. The Ulster Unionists

:04:47.:04:47.

are keeping their options open - but one former leader nailed his

:04:48.:04:51.

colours to the mast today. That is right. David Trimble, of

:04:52.:05:04.

course, former UDP leader, now with the Conservatives, he has come out

:05:05.:05:06.

to say that he wants the UK to leave the EU. He gave an interview at

:05:07.:05:11.

Westminster and is firmly in the league camp. The Ulster Unionist

:05:12.:05:15.

Party his former party, want a bit more time to think about this. They

:05:16.:05:18.

are going to consult with people and a third party Executive meeting and

:05:19.:05:24.

will finally come to a decision after they have spoken to

:05:25.:05:26.

organisations and businesses across Northern Ireland.

:05:27.:05:27.

We know about the DUP and Sinn Fein. SDLP are a pro-European party. We

:05:28.:05:39.

had the leader of that party thing that Northern Ireland Place's

:05:40.:05:48.

Northern Ireland's place should be in Europe. And we had other leaders

:05:49.:05:51.

advocating for that. Recently, the main parties have made their

:05:52.:05:52.

decisions. -- basically. And the Secretary of State,

:05:53.:05:57.

Theresa Villiers, found herself in

:05:58.:05:58.

the firing line today. She is taking a different position

:05:59.:06:06.

from David Cameron and that is what makes this very interesting post of

:06:07.:06:09.

a number of key personalities are taking very different positions.

:06:10.:06:14.

That is what makes the debate interesting for voters and

:06:15.:06:17.

journalists, because we have key personalities in the same parties

:06:18.:06:21.

taking very different positions. Theresa Villiers has made it clear

:06:22.:06:25.

that she would like to see the UK leave the European Union. She is a

:06:26.:06:29.

former MEP. She is learning about other people in the cabinet, for

:06:30.:06:32.

example Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling. But there makes this whole

:06:33.:06:39.

debate very interesting. The Conservatives are certainly

:06:40.:06:42.

divided on this but there are different views within the Labour

:06:43.:06:47.

Party as well. Indeed. We have got the Ulster born MP who is taking the

:06:48.:06:50.

approach that she would like Northern Ireland and the rest of the

:06:51.:06:54.

UK to leave the European Union. Then you have Jeremy Corbyn, and the

:06:55.:06:59.

leader of the Labour Party, who thinks the UK should stay in the

:07:00.:07:02.

European Union. And then somebody like the former Home Secretary Alan

:07:03.:07:07.

Johnson, who believes that the UK should stay in the European Union. A

:07:08.:07:11.

lot of the parties do have this split down the middle.

:07:12.:07:13.

And the language used by Arlene Foster yesterday

:07:14.:07:14.

Yes, I think there is a line that is worth looking at. We heard Nigel

:07:15.:07:26.

Dodds a few minutes ago talking about the DUP position, and the

:07:27.:07:32.

DUP's official position is that they are a Eurosceptic party and want the

:07:33.:07:35.

United Kingdom and to leave the European Union. But if you look

:07:36.:07:37.

closely at this statement, and a desperate looking at it, and I will

:07:38.:07:42.

quote, "We fully expect DUP members and voters will hold a range of

:07:43.:07:45.

differing personal views as to what is in the best interest of the

:07:46.:07:49.

United Kingdom. Osgood she is basically saying that this is the

:07:50.:07:53.

DUP position but we understand if there are DUP members and falters

:07:54.:07:57.

and take a slightly different approach. -- falters.

:07:58.:08:01.

But would we expect leading members of the DUP speaking in an official

:08:02.:08:07.

capacity to campaign on the party line? There are certainly are not

:08:08.:08:09.

people coming forward and Nigel Dodds made it clear that that is the

:08:10.:08:13.

position of the DUP, but they will be putting forward this public

:08:14.:08:16.

position, but it is as in the best interests of Northern Ireland if the

:08:17.:08:20.

UK leaves the European Union. It is certainly shaping up to be a

:08:21.:08:24.

fascinating few months on that score. Stephen, thank you very much

:08:25.:08:28.

indeed, we will talk to you later in the programme.

:08:29.:08:29.

that Bombardier is to cut around 1,000 jobs in Belfast

:08:30.:08:33.

the Enterprise Minister briefed the Assembly

:08:34.:08:36.

on what the Executive can do to mitigate the impact.

:08:37.:08:38.

Jonathan Bell said his thoughts are with the workers

:08:39.:08:40.

and their families as they continue to absorb the news.

:08:41.:08:43.

Well, the news was deeply disappointing to stop Bombardier has

:08:44.:08:50.

made it clear that the decision has been taken to safeguard the

:08:51.:08:56.

company's long-term future, globally, and here in Northern

:08:57.:08:59.

Ireland. I want to take this opportunity also to assure this

:09:00.:09:04.

house that I am already working with my colleague, the Minister for

:09:05.:09:07.

implement and learning, to do all that is possible to limit the impact

:09:08.:09:10.

of the redundancies that will take place during the coming weeks and

:09:11.:09:14.

months. While Bombardier has said there is nothing they can do to

:09:15.:09:17.

reverse last week's decision, we will continue to work closely with

:09:18.:09:23.

the company and to support other ways to support its drive for

:09:24.:09:28.

greater efficiencies. I believe it is important also to recognise the

:09:29.:09:36.

cyclical nature of the aerospace sector. There are peaks and troughs

:09:37.:09:39.

experienced by all major companies that operate in this sector, so

:09:40.:09:46.

Bombardier is not unique. He, as in the department, will continue to

:09:47.:09:49.

work closely with the company and to explore other ways to support its

:09:50.:09:54.

drive for greater efficiencies. Perhaps the Minister would care to

:09:55.:09:58.

explain what he means by that, those greater efficiencies, because

:09:59.:10:02.

normally for the rest of us who have listened to this bad news emanating

:10:03.:10:05.

from it, efficiency usually equals further cutbacks and I would not

:10:06.:10:11.

like to think that was indeed the case. Michael Ryan and I spent a

:10:12.:10:16.

very positive and constructive meeting this morning with many of

:10:17.:10:20.

the trade unions. And what we are agreed on is the critical nature of

:10:21.:10:25.

manufacturing in Belfast and how we take that forward at cost

:10:26.:10:28.

competitiveness into the future world economy that will be key for

:10:29.:10:33.

Northern Ireland to ensure that we have the jobs in Belfast and I am

:10:34.:10:36.

determined to see those jobs in Belfast. Could I ask you also look

:10:37.:10:41.

at the apprentice schemes. I am particularly concerned about the

:10:42.:10:45.

plant that Newtownabbey and others, but could some of the other

:10:46.:10:50.

engineering companies to cut some of the flak from Bombardier because

:10:51.:10:54.

they are very highly prized and values apprentice schemes You can

:10:55.:10:57.

keep up to date with the latest news and weather throughout the day via

:10:58.:10:59.

our Twitter feed anybody that knows either Stephen and myself knows how

:11:00.:11:01.

deeply we value apprenticeships and how we see future. What I understand

:11:02.:11:06.

with the company if they are suspending the scheme, not ending

:11:07.:11:09.

it, and it is a suspension of new apprentices, all of him within the

:11:10.:11:13.

current scheme will have their fill mentorship programmes honoured and I

:11:14.:11:19.

look forward into the future, where we can see that suspension lifted. I

:11:20.:11:24.

am not minded to blame him for the global losses at Bombardier. But

:11:25.:11:31.

does he not accept that taking, for example, his hearty conference

:11:32.:11:35.

speech just three months ago when he said not to let anybody tell you

:11:36.:11:39.

that manufacturing in Northern Ireland is in a difficult position,

:11:40.:11:45.

that that spoke to complacency and a lack of alertness to what was coming

:11:46.:11:51.

down the tracks. But could I ask him, is there a contingency plan for

:11:52.:12:01.

Bombardier is the C series does not achieve its hoped-for level of

:12:02.:12:07.

sales? I would ask him to work with me. The manufacturing industry in

:12:08.:12:13.

Northern Ireland has asked me, who has the privileged position to be

:12:14.:12:16.

their enterprise minister, to project confidence in the sector.

:12:17.:12:20.

Again, with the unions this morning, I talked about the damage that will

:12:21.:12:26.

be done if we talk to now manufacturing industry, talk about

:12:27.:12:31.

disasters if we are stupid enough to talk about tsunamis and if we are

:12:32.:12:34.

silly enough to talk about manufacturing having no future. It

:12:35.:12:38.

is the industry that has asked me, because they say that confidence

:12:39.:12:44.

drives the order book, confidence in their industry drives jobs,

:12:45.:12:50.

confidence drives apprenticeships, confidence is key.

:12:51.:12:53.

Jonathan Bell talking up manufacturing here.

:12:54.:12:55.

The Justice Minister today urged the Ministry of Defence

:12:56.:12:58.

to provide information to the legacy inquests

:12:59.:12:59.

being conducted by the Coroners' Court.

:13:00.:13:01.

David Ford said 'much more work is required'

:13:02.:13:03.

in the tracing of military witnesses to these historic cases.

:13:04.:13:05.

But before that, the Justice Minister was asked

:13:06.:13:07.

if the closure of several local courthouses

:13:08.:13:09.

in Northern Ireland will affect how the media reports on crime.

:13:10.:13:21.

All laid eyes on you and leave them on and on. A system could either you

:13:22.:13:27.

are not affected by them. The site. It advises visitors and is on you.

:13:28.:13:56.

If, in addition to the zoo with has reduced the need for reporters to...

:13:57.:14:06.

Given these excess of the introduction of televising some

:14:07.:14:09.

court proceedings in the mainland, is this not something he could

:14:10.:14:13.

encourage the Lord Chief Justice to facilitate with the Court of Appeal

:14:14.:14:16.

in Northern Ireland so that the public were able to see exactly what

:14:17.:14:19.

is happening in the courts rather than having a filter of journalists

:14:20.:14:24.

having to do it from outside the buildings or print media, and this

:14:25.:14:27.

would be a good way to open up the courts for greater access? It is an

:14:28.:14:34.

interesting point when we talk about the Court of Appeal giving

:14:35.:14:37.

judgments, but I am not sure, giving the length of time a judge had taken

:14:38.:14:42.

the Court of Appeal we have the public seeing everything, we might

:14:43.:14:45.

have the public seeing something filtered through television editors

:14:46.:14:49.

rather than reporters selectively reporting from the street outside.

:14:50.:14:53.

It is an issue that merits consideration but it is not my first

:14:54.:14:57.

priority in terms of management of the course at this stage. I wrote to

:14:58.:15:02.

the Secretary of State asking you to raise the issue of placing retired

:15:03.:15:05.

military witnesses directly with the Secretary of State for defence.

:15:06.:15:16.

He will stop it with, that they would like you giving the full

:15:17.:15:24.

participation of the full participation of white range of uses

:15:25.:15:29.

that the MoD would do everything it can to facilitate bearing age. I've

:15:30.:15:35.

usually this response. However it is clear that much more work is

:15:36.:15:45.

required. I also note the involvement of the MoD in the

:15:46.:15:51.

preliminary hearing recently. Those 43 inquests with an MoD involvement

:15:52.:15:55.

represent a significant proportion of the legacy inquests which remain

:15:56.:15:58.

outstanding. I trust the MoD will respond fully in the course of those

:15:59.:16:02.

hearings. Truth about what happened to our

:16:03.:16:18.

loved ones in the past? I click, which are currently

:16:19.:16:37.

awaiting The state of our roads

:16:38.:16:56.

was to the fore in many MLAs' minds to the Regional

:16:57.:17:04.

Development Minister. The Independent Unionist

:17:05.:17:08.

John McCallister asked Michelle McIlveen

:17:09.:17:11.

for an update on her department's budget

:17:12.:17:13.

for road maintenance. The budget for the Depertment

:17:14.:17:15.

for Infrastructure, as agreed by the Executive in January,

:17:16.:17:18.

provided a capital allocation of ?46 million for road

:17:19.:17:21.

structural maintenance, This will allow for the increased

:17:22.:17:24.

expenditure on maintaining the condition of the existing

:17:25.:17:28.

network and reduce the cost However, capital structural

:17:29.:17:31.

maintenance is only one element There are a number of roads

:17:32.:17:36.

maintenance activities that are funded through

:17:37.:17:41.

the resource budget. These include street lighting

:17:42.:17:43.

inspection and maintenance, pothole repairs, grass cutting,

:17:44.:17:46.

gully emptying and weed spraying. These are important aspects

:17:47.:17:50.

of road maintenance A resource allocation of ?20 million

:17:51.:17:52.

was provided for roads maintenance However, a 5.7% reduction on DFIs

:17:53.:17:58.

over all budgets presents a challenging position in terms

:17:59.:18:07.

of delivering services To follow on on the theme

:18:08.:18:10.

of potholes, I came cross one yesterday that a car

:18:11.:18:16.

was completely wrecked in. However, I have been given

:18:17.:18:19.

an undertaking that will be But the QPA state that there

:18:20.:18:22.

is a ?15 million shortfall I don't think we need QPA to tell us

:18:23.:18:27.

there has been a shortfall. I think we are all acutely

:18:28.:18:38.

aware of the challenges I have had regular conversations

:18:39.:18:41.

with QPA and they are aware since coming into office I have bid

:18:42.:18:48.

for additional money and I have tried to do the best I can

:18:49.:18:51.

within the very short I know this adds additional

:18:52.:18:55.

pressure on to the industry. It adds pressure onto families

:18:56.:19:00.

where workers have got to go across the water to find work and,

:19:01.:19:04.

again, that impacts It is my job and the job of others

:19:05.:19:08.

in this Assembly to make sure we do prioritise money in the right

:19:09.:19:14.

direction and road maintenance Will she give a commitment to this

:19:15.:19:18.

House that the money for the '16-17 budget year is prioritised

:19:19.:19:25.

for the maintenance of rural roads? In a previous answer,

:19:26.:19:32.

the Minister talked about doing the roads that carry the most volume

:19:33.:19:35.

of traffic but rural roads have been Will she give a commitment

:19:36.:19:39.

to prioritiseing that money As someone who also represents

:19:40.:19:45.

a rural consituency, I am very aware of the needs

:19:46.:19:53.

for rural roads and that will certainly be reiterated by many

:19:54.:19:57.

in this chamber so while I can give a commitment that I will seek to get

:19:58.:20:01.

as much money as possible into the roads budget,

:20:02.:20:05.

it is very much dependent on local divisions as well as how

:20:06.:20:09.

they allocate their money. Obviously, those areas

:20:10.:20:12.

of highest priority. It is about making a case

:20:13.:20:15.

for those particular areas. The Further Consideration Stage

:20:16.:20:19.

of the Employment Bill and amid much debate over gender pay

:20:20.:20:23.

equality and the living wage, it was talk of abolishing

:20:24.:20:28.

zero hours contracts Sinn Fein tabled amendments calling

:20:29.:20:31.

for the end of the employment practice, but other parties believe

:20:32.:20:36.

it merits greater scrutiny. I want to acknowledge the role zero

:20:37.:20:39.

hours workers play in the workplace, especially for businesses that

:20:40.:20:43.

require that extra workforce for a length of time over

:20:44.:20:49.

busy periods they have. I know that over the past few

:20:50.:20:53.

months, there has been some concerns raised about abuse in connection

:20:54.:20:57.

with the use of zero hours contracts and noncontractual zero

:20:58.:21:01.

hour arrangements. As a result, we have a real raft

:21:02.:21:06.

of amendments that has been brought through in the bill today

:21:07.:21:10.

at the very late stage and I think it is far too late to bring a raft

:21:11.:21:15.

forward on such an important in the event that shift is still

:21:16.:21:55.

without notice, they would be entitled to compensation. Even goes

:21:56.:22:05.

some way... It was the address the problem facing a small number of

:22:06.:22:08.

workers who are having their rights and five at four years. I can't

:22:09.:22:14.

stress enough that this House the numbers of people in all. Rules and

:22:15.:22:19.

responsibilities that are being exploited and zero hours contracts

:22:20.:22:23.

stop I don't think we can afford to be as it was the that use influence

:22:24.:22:28.

of it. As I said at the consideration stage, these contracts

:22:29.:22:36.

are often used by lawyers. In many cases to avoid the Lloyds properly

:22:37.:22:41.

and to avoid giving the other is boy must rights that one can expect. And

:22:42.:22:48.

we think about this, is a that are limiting vehicle's lives. It is

:22:49.:22:53.

limiting their ability to be able to plan for the future.

:22:54.:23:04.

I do think this House has a responsibility to tackle zero hours

:23:05.:23:09.

because they are being abused out there. Mr Flanagan, at one stage,

:23:10.:23:18.

will point out that he refers to a small number of boys but others talk

:23:19.:23:28.

about a large number of boys -- in Floyd 's. How many people out there

:23:29.:23:34.

are Floyd on zero hours? Lenders may well have their views on

:23:35.:24:16.

that. The second aspect and this is probably more pertinent around

:24:17.:24:23.

Sydney and it flies in the issue of, will the amendments achieve the

:24:24.:24:29.

outcomes, the objectives? There is no guarantee of that because we have

:24:30.:24:35.

not stress tested the physical wording of amendments. They may well

:24:36.:24:41.

the means which employers can circumvent what is the town of

:24:42.:24:43.

favour. And finally tonight

:24:44.:24:50.

to health matters. Smoking in cars with young

:24:51.:24:52.

people took centre stage during the consideration

:24:53.:24:54.

stage of the Health Bill. Those exposed to second-hand vassals

:24:55.:25:05.

for long periods of time are more likely to develop died from heart

:25:06.:25:09.

disease, left the fifth of lung cancer. There was no safe level of

:25:10.:25:15.

exposure to second-hand vassals. In written and oral evidence to the

:25:16.:25:16.

committee, the VMA as well as the van, motion

:25:17.:25:53.

and penalty. A carrot and stick approach. But it was effective. It

:25:54.:26:06.

is my hope that criminalising smoking in cars with children would

:26:07.:26:09.

prevent people from doing it in the first place. I am extremely

:26:10.:26:15.

disappointed, like others, that there has not been Executive

:26:16.:26:19.

agreement to permit a formal amendments of them from the

:26:20.:26:23.

Department. Perhaps the Minister can give us a reason why it is on this

:26:24.:26:30.

occasion. It was my intention to table an amendment on this issue. It

:26:31.:26:36.

was shaved and supported by the health committee on this film. My

:26:37.:26:43.

amendment would have interviews a clause to provide my with

:26:44.:26:44.

regulation. The latest report published by

:26:45.:27:09.

Public Health England in August of last year would have been that the

:27:10.:27:12.

cigarettes believes negligible amounts of nicotine. However, the

:27:13.:27:20.

evolution of the power to ban these address in cars...

:27:21.:27:30.

And Stephen's joined me again for a final word.

:27:31.:27:33.

Bombardier dominated part of the proceedings today

:27:34.:27:35.

and the Enterprise Minster was once again in the spotlight.

:27:36.:27:42.

Is not the first time you want I have chatted for Jonathan fell his

:27:43.:27:50.

performance at school and, to be fair, it was a very difficult and

:27:51.:27:54.

defensive the dispatch box, physically after the news last week,

:27:55.:27:58.

and I think what people wanted to see from Jonathan Bell's is a was a

:27:59.:28:04.

plan of action. No one is holding him responsible for the economic

:28:05.:28:08.

downturn but he was facing the decision of being complacent. The

:28:09.:28:14.

other thing you want it to you was on use houses and because they see

:28:15.:28:29.

that... And we'll Northern Ireland be a part of the national you

:28:30.:28:42.

campaign? We might see David Cameron, maybe you like Nigel

:28:43.:28:46.

Farage, so I think it will see national figures over here in the

:28:47.:28:49.

coming weeks and Northern Ireland with the national campaign.

:28:50.:28:52.

Join me again at the same time tomorrow night -

:28:53.:28:57.

A political programme focusing on the day's events at the Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive. Mark Carruthers is the guide through the corridors of power at Stormont, and is joined by key people - from decision makers to opinion formers - to make the experience enlightening and entertaining.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS