What's happening in the Chamber - Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th March 2020


Here are some key items from Monday and Tuesday's Order Papers...

Monday's Business - 9th March 2020

Assembly Business

Motion: Committee Membership. Dolores Kelly, Colin McGrath.

That Mr Pat Catney replace Mr John Dallat as a member of the Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development.

Motion: Committee Membership. John O’Dowd, Sinéad Ennis.

That Mr Fra McCann replace Ms Emma Sheerin as a member of the Committee for Communities; that Ms Martina Anderson replace Mr Fra McCann as a member of the Committee for the Executive Office; and that Ms Emma Rogan replace Ms Martina Anderson as a member of the Committee for Justice.

Executive Committee Business

Final Stage: Budget Bill. Minister of Finance.

This is where the Assembly debates whether to pass the Bill.

Motion: The Bereavement Support Payment (No. 2) Regulations (NI) 2019. Minister for Communities

That the Bereavement Support Payment (No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2019 be approved.

Motion: The Social Security Benefits Up-rating (No. 2) Order (NI) 2019. Minister for Communities

That the Social Security Benefits Up-rating (No. 2) Order (Northern Ireland) 2019 be approved.

Motion: The Social Security Benefits Up-rating (No. 2) Regulations (NI) 2019. Minister for Communities

That the Social Security Benefits Up-rating (No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2019 be approved.

Motion: The Mesothelioma Lump Sum Payments (Conditions and Amounts) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations (NI) 2019.  Minister for Communities

That the Mesothelioma Lump Sum Payments (Conditions and Amounts) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2019 be approved.

Question Time

Communities:

Topics include two questions on urban regeneration/social housing East Londonderry/East Antrim; ban on sponsorship by gambling companies in local sport; reform and implementation of liquor licensing legislation; additional funding required for the redevelopment of Casement Park and the impact on other applications to the Regional Stadium Fund; and access for Post Office Card Accounts holders following the end of the contract in November 2021.

 

Economy:

Topics include increasing apprenticeships in local businesses; broadband coverage; plans to protect and develop an all-island economy in the context of Brexit; and why only one of the three companies that successfully tendered to carry out inspections of non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive boilers has been engaged.

Tuesday's Business - 10th March 2020


Executive Committee Business

Motion: The Pension Schemes Act 2015 (Transitional Provisions and Appropriate Independent Advice) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations (NI) 2019. Minister for Communities


That the Pension Schemes Act 2015 (Transitional Provisions and Appropriate Independent Advice) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2019 be approved.


Private Members’ Business

Motion: Independent Review of Education. Chris Lyttle, Kellie Armstrong

That this Assembly calls on the Minister of Education to implement urgently the New Decade, New Approach commitment to establish an external, independent review of education provision with a focus on greater efficiency in delivery costs, raising standards, access to the curriculum for all pupils, and an inclusive single education system.

Motion: Childcare Strategy. Robin Newton, Maurice Bradley

That this Assembly believes that access to good quality and affordable childcare can help empower those parents who want to stay and progress in paid work; accepts that this, in turn, will contribute to the local economy; recognises the transformative role that good childcare can play in supporting the educational, social and physical development of a child; supports the aim of providing 30 hours of free childcare for 38 weeks a year for 3 to 4 year olds, in line with the rest of the United Kingdom; further recognises that there are significant pressures already on the budget of the Department of Education; and calls upon the Executive to implement a childcare strategy and any legislation required to enable this to proceed.

Motion: Mental Health in the Workplace. Robbie Butler, Robbie Butler, Órlaithí Flynn, John Blair, Keith Buchanan, Mark Durkan

That this Assembly recognises that mental health problems affect one in six workers each year, and that poor mental health is the leading cause of sickness absence; further recognises that Northern Ireland records the highest instance of mental ill health across the UK and has an ongoing mental health crisis; welcomes warmly the partnership between the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, Time to Change, and the Retail Trust to address mental health in the retail industry; notes the important role that the retail industry plays as Northern Ireland’s largest private sector employer; supports the initiatives being progressed, including a mental health toolkit and mental health first aid training; and recommends that other industries follow this lead.

Question Time

Education: 

Topics include children waiting for SEN statements/autism support; local schools and their provision—Strule/Carrickfergus Academy/St Ronan’s Lurgan; concerns about an outbreak of coronavirus in schools; plans for a workforce strategy for the Irish medium sector; and educational underachievement amongst children in the Dickson Plan area that do not attend selective post-primary education.

Finance: 

Topics include - under what economic and political circumstances the Minister would recommend the reduction of corporation tax; what discussions the Minister has had with Her Majesty’s Government in relation to finances for New Decade, New Approach; mitigation measures to assist businesses in the hospitality sector facing potential closure as a result of Reval2020; the Derry and Strabane City Deal; the estimated £833.9m cost of division reported in the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre independent audit, 2016; and the timeline for the establishment of the central translation hub as set out in New Decade, New Approach.

Graphic promoting the MLA quiz.

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