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20 September 2013

Assembly Questions and Answers

Each week Ministers respond to questions put to them by your MLAs. These cover a range of subjects and are all published on our website. The questions that have been answered each week are contained in the Weekly Answers Booklet which is published each Monday. However, did you know that we also publish answers to questions on our website each day?

Below are just a few of the many answers that have been published this week:

  • By the end of March 2013 there were a total of 17,563 live Rate Relief awards as administered by Land & Property Services.

  • There were approximately 17,500 pensioners included in the 2012/13 Rate Relief Scheme, over 11,000 of these were owner occupiers and around 6,500 were tenants.

  • The Department for Employment and Learning currently funds the ‘off the job’ training element of an apprenticeship through the ApprenticeshipsNI programme. The latest statistical bulletin shows that the total number of participants on the programme at 30 April 2013 was 8,998.

  • In July last year the amount of a Penalty Charge Notice was increased from £60 to £90 for all parking contraventions.

  • Did you know that the Department for Regional Development publishes Roads Service reports to councils? These reports contain information on completed and proposed roads schemes for the current financial year can be found on the Department's website.

  • The Minister of Justice provided a definition of the criminal offence of glorifying terrorism:


Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 makes it an offence to publish statements which are likely to be understood by members of the public as a direct or indirect encouragement to commit, prepare or instigate a terrorist offence. Indirect encouragement includes statements which glorify acts or offences of terrorism whether in the past, in the future, or of terrorism more generally. Glorification includes any form of praise or celebration.


  • Neither the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure nor Sport NI have received any requests to improve facilities, or indeed, provide facilities for the trial biking.

  • The Minister of Education stated that from September 2014 post-primary pupils from the lowest income families will be supported with access to free school meals in the same way as primary pupils. It is estimated that this will benefit 15,000 children.

  • As at 31st July 2013 there were 44 wind farm applications waiting on planning permission.

  • The Western Health and Social Care Trust has become completely smoke-free by prohibiting smoking in both premises and grounds.