27/06/2011 Stormont Today


27/06/2011

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


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 27/06/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to Stormont today. Another tax deadline is looming, do

:11:05.:11:10.

not worry it is not a personal income tax. But if you have a view

:11:10.:11:13.

on corporation tax and whether it should be lowered, you only have

:11:14.:11:19.

until Friday. Cannot make up your mind? Stay tuned. We will hear from

:11:19.:11:22.

a business champion and an opposing view.

:11:22.:11:27.

Plus, they are the good guys, aren't they? The Community

:11:27.:11:31.

Relations Council that is, so why when they were at Stormont did it

:11:31.:11:38.

turn out like this? Tom Elliott fights to keep order at an

:11:38.:11:48.
:11:48.:11:48.

Albert Einstein like to say the hardest thing in the world to

:11:48.:11:53.

understand is income tax. At least he did not have to grapple with the

:11:53.:11:57.

issues of corporation tax. But to give us his take, I am joined by a

:11:57.:12:04.

Michael Ryan, vice-president of Bombardier Aerospace Belfast. Give

:12:04.:12:10.

us your pitch, why should we lower corporation tax? It is generally

:12:10.:12:15.

agreed within our society here that we lag behind most of the

:12:15.:12:20.

indicators first is the UK for the wellbeing of the our community in

:12:20.:12:25.

Northern Ireland. Those indicators are driven in many ways by the

:12:25.:12:29.

effectiveness of our economy here and our economy depends on

:12:29.:12:33.

businesses. If our economy depends on businesses them one of the ways

:12:33.:12:36.

to influence that is to increase the size of the businesses in

:12:36.:12:40.

Northern Ireland. The Assembly will be debating this tomorrow, we hear

:12:40.:12:46.

lots of talk about job creation, it could have re -- create 4,500 jobs

:12:46.:12:53.

a year. But we could lose money from the block grant. There has

:12:53.:12:56.

been at an argument about how much it could cost first is the number

:12:56.:13:03.

of jobs it could create. What we have been doing for the last 20

:13:03.:13:08.

years has not closed the gap. If we want to do something differently,

:13:08.:13:13.

what we have done his lookout side and looked at the data and looked

:13:13.:13:17.

at the evidence and the reduction of corporation tax is one of the

:13:17.:13:21.

tools that we begin will help us close the gap with the rest of the

:13:21.:13:26.

UK. The consultation has been extended until this Friday and the

:13:26.:13:30.

cynics would say that it is because the quality of responses is not

:13:30.:13:34.

there, people are not interested or it is not being argued well enough.

:13:34.:13:38.

You said yourself that tax is a difficult it issue for all of us

:13:38.:13:42.

individually and for corporations as well. We have had a lot of

:13:42.:13:46.

elections lately, we have had a lot of issues that have been asked of

:13:46.:13:50.

the tax payer and all of our citizens. That is another one on

:13:50.:13:55.

top of that. I do not think it reflects a lack of interest or

:13:55.:13:59.

opportunity. The critics say there is not one shred of evidence that

:13:59.:14:05.

it will create many jobs and it could benefit the rich. There is a

:14:05.:14:09.

lot of evidence, when we have looked at data from Estonia,

:14:09.:14:15.

Singapore, from the south of Ireland. It does not benefit the

:14:15.:14:20.

rich. If our businesses are no different from the businesses in

:14:20.:14:24.

the rest of the world our businesses will reinvest that in

:14:24.:14:28.

their businesses and that will eventually bring more tax in total

:14:28.:14:32.

as revenue for Northern Ireland from, for our society here. We will

:14:32.:14:42.
:14:42.:14:44.

return to the subject later. Nelson the course and is now no

:14:44.:14:48.

stranger to interrogation. Let us hear from Martin McGuinness, who

:14:48.:14:52.

revealed among other things that he is considering taking the Executive

:14:52.:14:56.

on the road. First here he is answering questions on the memorial

:14:56.:15:01.

fund. Naturally I understand that this is an issue that has been in

:15:01.:15:07.

the media recently. A lot of people have been frustrated at the length

:15:07.:15:16.

of time it has taken. I am very pleased to confirm that we now have

:15:16.:15:20.

the necessary authorisations in place for the memorial budget for

:15:20.:15:30.
:15:30.:15:37.

2011-12. Over �3.5 million has been distributed so far. Along with a

:15:37.:15:43.

total of �4.4 million provided in 2010-11 that has more than doubled

:15:43.:15:52.

the total in 2008-nine. When it exerts the terms and conditions of

:15:53.:15:56.

the letter of off-air, further funds will be released. That will

:15:56.:16:01.

enable the fund to be distributed to individuals whose applications

:16:01.:16:06.

have been assessed. Fancy a visit from the Executive, it seems Mr

:16:06.:16:14.

McGuinness wants to take meetings out and about. The Executive

:16:14.:16:21.

recognises the particular difficulties of up island life. It

:16:21.:16:26.

hopes to develop policies and projects that will improve

:16:26.:16:32.

conditions for islanders. They have indicated that they are broadly

:16:32.:16:36.

content with development so far. friend the Deputy First Minister

:16:36.:16:45.

for underlining the importance for ensuring that the island is

:16:45.:16:49.

properly serviced by the administration and the government

:16:49.:16:52.

departments in Northern Ireland. Will the Deputy First Minister

:16:52.:16:57.

today ensure that when it comes to implementation that OFMDFM will

:16:57.:17:03.

play an active role in making sure that there is delivery. We have had

:17:03.:17:08.

a lot in terms of commitment in the action plan but we need to see

:17:08.:17:15.

delivery on the ground which will benefit the people off the island.

:17:15.:17:20.

I think I can say on behalf of both the First Minister and myself that

:17:20.:17:25.

we do recognise the importance of giving as much support as we can to

:17:25.:17:29.

the islanders. Those of us who have been to the island, and I have been

:17:29.:17:37.

there myself, during the course of last year. We appreciate and

:17:37.:17:39.

understand the particular exceptional difficulties which

:17:39.:17:44.

islanders have, which people who are here on the mainland do not

:17:44.:17:51.

have. From our perspective, recognising the challenges faced by

:17:52.:17:54.

islanders, and they are different from here, means they do need to be

:17:54.:17:59.

addressed in a different way. Nelson McCausland was back taking

:17:59.:18:04.

questions with a very different brief, social development. Here he

:18:04.:18:09.

is facing a question on reform of pensions for women. Will the

:18:09.:18:12.

Minister confirm that he will work with DWP to ensure that changes

:18:12.:18:19.

brought about as a result of this bill or the widen 10 shirt and a

:18:19.:18:23.

reform that are advertised as widely as possible so that people

:18:23.:18:30.

can prepare for the financial future. I can in -- ensure the

:18:30.:18:35.

member of that. It is essential that we keep close contact with DWP

:18:35.:18:39.

in London as this process moves forward and that all the

:18:39.:18:44.

information is disseminated as widely as possible. So that people

:18:45.:18:50.

are not caught unawares and a fully aware of any implications.

:18:50.:18:53.

minister and the house and I am sure the wider community will be

:18:53.:18:57.

aware of the concern that there is come particularly among the small

:18:57.:19:02.

number of women who will be adversely affected by this. Members

:19:02.:19:07.

are working to minimise that change. Given that it will come before the

:19:07.:19:11.

Assembly, can the Minister outlined the period of time that the women

:19:11.:19:14.

will get to make belated preparation for a retirement that

:19:14.:19:20.

they did not expect to come when it now appears it is going to?

:19:20.:19:24.

Speaker, the amount of notice that an individual woman would receive

:19:24.:19:30.

would obviously depend on her date of birth. That could range from

:19:30.:19:35.

four-and-a-half years to nearly seven years. Women whose state

:19:35.:19:41.

pension age is due to increase the most have a longer period of notice

:19:41.:19:45.

than those affected earlier forum the increase is smaller.

:19:45.:19:50.

The main topic of debate in the chamber was the Budget, yet again.

:19:50.:19:54.

It was passed on a cross-community voting and the Minister dismissed

:19:54.:20:00.

his critics as whingers. One of those who voted against it was a

:20:00.:20:07.

single Green MLA, Stephen Agnew. The speakers as you are a whinger.

:20:07.:20:13.

That seems to be his attitude. He thinks that everybody else is being

:20:13.:20:15.

unrealistic. It is clear that the Budget could be allocated in

:20:15.:20:22.

different ways. It failed on the green new deal, which I think as

:20:22.:20:29.

well as being a good forward step, I think it would be a fairly major

:20:29.:20:33.

economic driver and has support from the business community,

:20:33.:20:36.

environmental groups and trade unions. I think that is something

:20:36.:20:42.

that this Budget it has failed to protect public services through

:20:42.:20:48.

Gram Mensing cuts through revenue- raising measures. And it has failed

:20:48.:20:52.

to provide the necessary funding so we can keep the cap on fees. Those

:20:52.:20:57.

are three fundamental issues on which this Budget fails. In terms

:20:57.:21:02.

of the green you deal, that is about making homes more efficient.

:21:02.:21:07.

But the money is not there to fund it. That was it when that has been

:21:07.:21:10.

made in previous debates. It is where you put your priorities, to

:21:10.:21:14.

me that should be one of the key priorities. It is not for this

:21:14.:21:21.

Executive and it is not within the budget. I know we're going to come

:21:21.:21:27.

on to it later but the cost of corporation tax if we go down that

:21:27.:21:36.

route would be similar to what the cost of the green new deal would be.

:21:36.:21:39.

So why are we in leaning towards that rather than the green New

:21:39.:21:48.

Deal? Do you think that talk by parties has been cheap? I think

:21:48.:21:53.

that yes. They are saying we are doing the green new deal but

:21:53.:21:56.

clearly it is not sufficient and there is not a genuine commitment

:21:56.:22:03.

to it. What we have got is a pilot scheme but we have had pilot

:22:03.:22:06.

schemes in the PUP Republic of up Ireland that have produced an

:22:06.:22:14.

immense of this. We can look at other countries examples, it does

:22:15.:22:24.
:22:25.:22:25.

reduce jobs, it does reduce heating bills and it does reduce energy use.

:22:25.:22:31.

You're objecting to corporation tax as well? I will be supporting the

:22:32.:22:38.

motion that the Assembly should have the power. I think we should

:22:38.:22:41.

decide hearing Northern Ireland Water our corporation tax rule is.

:22:41.:22:47.

But I will be warning against of this had rushed into reducing and

:22:47.:22:52.

because it will result in cuts to public services and potential job

:22:52.:22:57.

losses with no guaranteed return. Michael Ryan, you heard it there,

:22:57.:23:01.

it will be cuts to public services with no guaranteed return. I do not

:23:01.:23:08.

believe it has to be cuts to public services. We have had to improve

:23:08.:23:17.

our competitiveness by 15% over the past five years. There is room

:23:17.:23:20.

within public services are to improve competitiveness without

:23:20.:23:28.

losing jobs. I think the green New Deal is a good thing in principle.

:23:28.:23:32.

The corporation tax, the data is there, the evidence is there, and

:23:32.:23:34.

looking forward to a future for Northern Ireland which is better

:23:34.:23:38.

than what we have now means that we have to do this.

:23:38.:23:42.

You would think that having the Community Relations Council to hand

:23:42.:23:47.

might lead to some good vibes among members. But the OFMDFM committee

:23:47.:23:54.

had to be suspended after tensions run high last week. It all started

:23:54.:24:00.

politely enough for with discussion of recent events in Belfast.

:24:00.:24:04.

Looking at the new stories of this week we start the week with a Rory

:24:04.:24:11.

McIlroy story of about Northern Ireland within the international

:24:11.:24:18.

global context. By the end of the week the story leading on the BBC

:24:18.:24:24.

News is riots in Belfast. I do not want to put that us either or us. I

:24:24.:24:30.

want to say that those her choices. I do think that tackling the issues

:24:30.:24:34.

that remain is an economic investment worth making with long-

:24:34.:24:44.
:24:44.:24:45.

term consequences. Particularly for people in the most at vulnerable

:24:45.:24:50.

and weakest areas. There is an assertion that community relations

:24:50.:24:55.

can be a class obsession. There is no doubt that the people who pay

:24:55.:24:59.

for it are the people at the front end of some of the most week and

:24:59.:25:03.

vulnerable communities. It is useful to note that the correlation

:25:03.:25:07.

between poverty and conflict is very high. All the studies that

:25:07.:25:12.

have been done shows that there is a significant correlation in terms

:25:12.:25:17.

of the areas that suffer most in terms of conflict are also the

:25:17.:25:23.

areas with the highest levels of deprivation. Therefore, bringing

:25:23.:25:27.

together reconciliation on the one hand and of regeneration on the

:25:27.:25:37.
:25:37.:25:40.

If anybody examined the conflict over the last 40 years, you can see

:25:40.:25:50.
:25:50.:25:52.

clearly that poverty and conflict are not linked. That is my problem

:25:52.:26:01.

with the CRC all along. If you look back on their funding, it would be

:26:01.:26:07.

very hard to point to some progress where people have been changed from

:26:07.:26:15.

what they are doing to a different way of looking at things.

:26:15.:26:19.

correlation is that the areas that have suffered the most in the

:26:19.:26:24.

conflict are also areas of intense poverty. That is beyond doubt. I am

:26:24.:26:32.

not saying that poverty caused it? Look at the people involved in the

:26:32.:26:42.
:26:42.:26:43.

conflict. Did they all come from poverty? Most of them did not.

:26:44.:26:49.

question in terms of which areas suffered the most tended to be

:26:49.:26:56.

areas of the most intense poverty, on both sides. What the G A A is

:26:56.:27:03.

trying to do what the Irish Football Association, anybody who

:27:03.:27:12.

was at Windsor Park in the night to remember in 1996 who goes there now,

:27:12.:27:22.
:27:22.:27:40.

it would make a difference. I was sitting in a restaurant last year...

:27:40.:27:50.

Sorry, I will suspend the meeting. One minute later, the Sassoon

:27:50.:27:55.

reconvened with one notable absence. Did Tom Elliott press the ejector

:27:55.:28:05.
:28:05.:28:06.

button? I am not going to storm a way the

:28:06.:28:10.

way -- storm away the way that Francie Molloy has done but I agree

:28:10.:28:17.

with some of the sentiments. poet Francie Molloy's allegation to

:28:17.:28:22.

David Jeffrey but he refused to comment.

:28:22.:28:28.

Twitter can get politicians into trouble. Ian McCrea has upset Sinn

:28:28.:28:31.

Fein after he tweeted that it was great to see Tyrone beat in the

:28:32.:28:39.

Ulster semi-final and that he hoped Donegal would be to Londonderry to

:28:39.:28:43.

keep the celebrations out of Mid- Ulster.

:28:43.:28:51.

If you put things out on Twitter, they are out in the public domain.

:28:51.:28:55.

Journalists see these things and, if you look at what Peter Robinson

:28:55.:28:59.

said last week about reaching out to other communities, what he saw

:28:59.:29:06.

as the Catholic or the nationalist community, that is the theory, but

:29:06.:29:12.

Ian puts it into practice on the ground with silly comments like

:29:12.:29:15.

this. It sends a very negative message about what some regard as

:29:15.:29:23.

the real face of the UUP. Does he need to apologise? He needs to

:29:23.:29:33.

apologise and withdraw his comments. The G A A does our lot to bring

:29:33.:29:38.

people in off the streets. He should withdraw the Commons and

:29:38.:29:43.

recognise it for what it is. Have you been speaking to people in D G

:29:43.:29:49.

A political programme focusing on the day's events at the Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive. Martina Purdy 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.