Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo

Northern Ireland Assembly

Tuesday 19 December 2000 (continued)

Mr Beggs:

I welcome the Minister's reassurances that no staff will be disadvantaged by the change and that there will not be compulsory redundancies in any of the agencies. Does the Minister agree that one of the benefits of having a central body is that there will be less central administration than within the former four bodies? Does he agree that this will provide better support for local businesses and enable more money to be spent on support and advice to businesses, rather than on civil servants who are operating administration within the various Departments?

Sir Reg Empey:

A central administration will possibly be more effective than having three or four, and, as I pointed out, the impact of this is likely to be financially positive, but quite apart from the savings, it will bring organizations together with the exchange of ideas, networking, and so on.

If people who are doing the same sort of work in isolation, inevitably, a great deal of experience and knowledge will be lost as a result of that. We want to minimise the bureaucracy and focus the maximum amount of resources on the delivery of a service to businesses. I must say that I agree.

There are up to 300 different organizations in Northern Ireland that deliver some form of economic development or training service. This illustrates our huge task of ensuring that there is no duplication, that we do not spend more money than is needed on administration, and that the maximum effort is focused on service delivery. Despite the financial aspect, this will ensure that the same quality of service is delivered throughout the Province. That is why the organization must have a regional focus.

Mr Byrne:

I welcome the Minister's comprehensive statement, particularly the thrusts and themes it contains. The Minister is certainly grasping the nettle in relation to economic development agencies.

I contend that LEDU was so successful because it was very close to people in all regions through its area offices. We must ensure that a more centralised, bureaucratic system does not evolve as a result of the creation of a single agency. Will the agency have area offices in all the regions?

Secondly, it is important that the board reflect all of Northern Ireland, and not simply specific or preferred persons. A geographical spread is needed. The staff and the culture of the staff are vital, and I pay tribute to the employees that have been involved. However, if there is to be an enterprise-driven culture, it will be necessary to develop a more innovative and energetic culture among the senior management of this new agency. This will promote the enterprise drive that we will have to face in the future.

Finally, I have been concerned about inward investment for some time, particularly the almost unhealthy relationship that exists between preferred consultancy firms, accountancy firms and the agencies. This causes annoyance to other smaller accountancy firms, which feel that they too could prepare professional business plans and make good assessments of potential projects. Can the Minister assure us that, in the future, there will not be the same cosy relationship that might, in the past, have existed among some of the larger accountancy firms?

Sir Reg Empey:

I will take note of the Member's last point and seek advice on it.

This organization will have a regional focus, but I cannot make any assurances to the Member about West Tyrone, which is presumably what he is driving at. If the agency is to be effective it must be represented throughout the Province, rather than in only one location. I have made that clear.

Furthermore, I have said that the board will reflect the social partners, and all issues will have to be incorporated. We must have effective people. I am conscious of the regional aspect involved, and that has been taken into account in appointments to existing boards. It is a very difficult task. There will be competition under the normal guidelines for membership of this new board, and, when we are setting the criteria, we will have to take care to get it right. Once those are set, the matter is beyond our control. We will certainly wish to take those points into account.

12.15 pm

We have all talked about grasping the nettle. Among those of us at local government level, the issue has been raised on and off for years. I hope my response to Mr Wells clarified our direction. I was anxious to end the uncertainty, not to create more. Staff are now conscious of what we are doing, and they know where we are going with this. Our task in the next few months is to ensure that we carry this out in a businesslike and professional way. When the final distribution of area offices is determined, we will see whether the Member believes that I am grasping the nettle.

Mr Poots:

I welcome the Minister's statement, particularly the point about putting more emphasis on getting the job done and reducing bureaucracy, and everybody would welcome that. Further to that, can the Minister outline the efficiency that would result from the amalgamation of the agencies? Will he also tell us about ongoing developments with local authorities? The Minister talks about doing this on the basis of a review of local authorities, but it might take up to four years before that is complete and the new local authorities are in place. In the past, there has often been a "hands off" relationship between local authorities and, for example, the IDB. Can he also outline the relationship with the North/South Trade and Business Development Body? When will the issue of accountability be clearly defined? Will the Minister guarantee that the appointments to the non-departmental public bodies will be made fairly, and that people will not be excluded because of their political viewpoints?

Sir Reg Empey:

With regard to the relationship with local authorities, the Member will know that I spent many years working in local economic development. I strongly believe in local economic development and in a specific role in that for local authorities. A few years ago, we were given that opportunity for the first time, and it has been a resounding success in councils across the Province. It has given councils a focus. Against the background at that time, we were not even allowed to control car parking - incidentally, we still have no control of that. We were not fit to do that. When people gave us something to do at local government level, we did it, and we did it well. I strongly believe that the improvement in local government is due, in no small measure, to the handing over of some local economic development powers to local authorities.

I sincerely hope that it does not take four years to sort out revised local government arrangements. I accept that there has been a "hands off, stay away" approach in the past. I have experienced it myself, and I understand the reasons for it. I hope those days are over. I believe that local government must have a meaningful relationship with the new agency.

Local authorities should have an increased role in local economic development as we move forward. One inhibiting factor is the fact that some local authorities, because of their size and financial base, are at a significant disadvantage and are not, therefore, capable of implementing programmes which I would like to see implemented. The Member knows what I am getting at.

Nevertheless, it is my intention that local government will continue to play a significant and growing role in the delivery of economic development services. That, I believe, is what people want.

With regard to accountability, I said that I am in discussions with the Department of Finance and Personnel. As an Assembly, we have to take a view, and the legislation, when it is passed, will give Members the opportunity to satisfy themselves that the accountability mechanisms in place will be adequate.

The appointments to the board will be carried out properly and people will not be penalised for their political views. The agency's relationship with InterTrade Ireland will be a matter for the agency. InterTrade Ireland does not have an inward investment function and the organisations will not, therefore, clash in those areas. All the agencies and bodies involved in this matter, including local government, will find it easier to deal with a single organisation, rather than having to replicate their lobbying activities with three or four organisations.

Mrs Nelis:

Go raibh maith agat, a LeasCheann Comhairle. I add my voice to those who welcome the Minister's statement. As the Minister stated, we need a rapid-response mechanism to cope with changing global situations, which we have not had from the IDB and LEDU. There are concerns about what has taken place at the Hawkes Bay factory, Ulster Ceramics, Carrington, Viyella, Milanda and United Technology and the raft of closures in the Foyle constituency because, in large part, these jobs are filled by women.

How will the new agency service those areas, which are seen by some as the far-flung reaches of the Six Counties, namely the west and the north-west? All of the stars, a LeasCheann Comhairle, cannot be located in the east; therefore, does the Minister envisage the new agency establishing local offices in those constituencies with the highest unemployment, working in tandem with councils and their social partners?

I also welcome the Minister's decision to integrate the tourism business into mainstream local economic development work, in co-operation with the North/South tourism company. Why does he feel it necessary to keep the NITB in place? Surely, this will be an unnecessary expense as well as causing some confusion?

Sir Reg Empey:

I will deal with the last point. The NITB will be required and will continue because it has the role of promoting tourism in Northern Ireland. Do not forget that the NITB and Bord Fáilte have established the tourism company. The new company is a marketing company in which the two tourist boards are shareholders. It will effectively be the delivery mechanism for regional marketing but the substance of that regional marketing will come from the tourist boards. Their chairmen and chief executives will be on the board of the new company.

There is also the matter of the whole range of other promotional activities. There is the regulation of the industry, and a range of other matters including how aid is given to tourist businesses. In my statement I said that the business support mechanism for carrying out and administering grants or other forms of assistance to tourism and businesses is currently undertaken by about 30 persons in the NITB. They are doing the same job as, for instance, the IDB, which operates on a much larger scale. Just because a business focuses on tourism, it is not necessarily different from other businesses. It does not change the grant mechanism or the processing of the work. Therefore it was natural to bring those business support mechanisms together under one umbrella.

There will be an ongoing need for a tourist board. The Republic, Scotland and Wales are all promoted by strong tourism boards. That will remain the case. I detect no desire on the part of Bord Fáilte to close itself down.

I have made it my business to be in the north-west as frequently as possible and I hope, if I am spared, to be there again very shortly. I am aware of the recent closures. I am also aware of the recent openings and announcements. Some of them have been very positive, and I hope that before the week is out we will have another positive report to make.

One of the key issues is the ability to provide a rapid response. The nature of the businesses that we are dealing with has changed. Quicker answers are required. The time between starting a project and getting it under way has been greatly reduced. Our system has clearly been creaking somewhat in its attempt to keep up. The time is right, particularly with the new types of industries and businesses that we have to deal with, to review how we deliver the service. That is part of the rationale for reorganisation.

Mrs Courtney:

I welcome the Minister's announcement on the restructure of the agencies. I am aware of the work of local councils, including my own, Derry City Council, in the field of economic development, and I welcome the Minister's commitment to this. As a former member of the NITB, I also welcome his commitment to it.

What response will the Minister or the existing agencies make to the disastrous announcement made yesterday by Hawkes Bay about redundancies in Derry and Newtownards? As the Minister is aware, 5,000 jobs have already been lost in the manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland since 1997, often at the rate of 300 per month. I come from a socially deprived area which, in the past, depended on the shirt-making industry. This is a further blow to an already ailing textile industry, which is facing an uncertain future. We need urgent action to counteract these job losses.

Mr Deputy Speaker:

I remind Members that questions must be based on the statement.

Sir Reg Empey:

I always admire the resourcefulness of Members from the north-west in managing to squeeze something in. I also welcome the Member here. I am very aware that this is a digression, but we should perhaps get it out of the way because it is obviously on a number of people's minds. I am aware of the issue to which the Member refers. However, that particular matter may not be finished, and people will have to be patient.

These redundancies come at a terribly bad time, but compared with other areas, our manufacturing sector has been holding up remarkably well - far better than that in Great Britain, for instance. There have been problems, but they are not as bad as they might have been. The gains are still exceeding the losses, and we have to remember that.

I hope that this new agency will be very focused. In response to Mr P Doherty's statement, I have said that new targeting social need and equality issues will be at its core. That has implications for the regions. I can assure Members that that will be one of the methods by which its success will be judged.

Mr Hussey:

I welcome the Minister's statement. I was not in the Chamber to hear it, but I heard it on the radio on my way here. It is long overdue. The Minister is aware - and I think this is where his reasoning has come from - of the idea that LEDU deals with small businesses and the IDB deals with the large ones. A group of small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has always been caught in the middle. Can the Minister assure us that the new body will have a broader banding than merely "big" and "small"?

I welcome the greater coherence in job creation, with the involvement of local economic development organisations, including local authorities. This will encourage the growth of indigenous SMEs, particularly at local level.

Has it taken on board the tremendous potential for growth in tourism? Can the Minister further assure us that the new organisation will not be bogged down in red tape, that the application forms for support from the new agency will be simpler, and that the agency will be of immediate help to those who are seeking to set up or to expand a business?

12.30 pm

Sir Reg Empey:

I am glad to see that the Member is here, and in good form, after his late night yesterday. As the Member suggested, the size differential was one of the reasons for change. The problems of a business are very often the same, irrespective of its size. Major growth is taking place in small and medium-sized enterprises, while the big battleship companies, which employ thousands, are few and far between. It does not make any difference whether you employ 49 people or 51.

There have also been overlaps - some companies with more than 50 employees are under LEDU's wing, while others with fewer than 50 employees are under the IDB's wing. That has been a source of confusion. In addition, certain policies have been delivered in different ways by different organisations.

I am trying to get rid of banding and to treat the problems of small businesses and larger businesses in the same way, although issues of scale prevail.

With regard to red tape, a review was carried out of the forms, and a number were reduced. I started a re-examination in my Department within the last two months. I am looking at every piece of paper that is issued by each division in every organisation. I want to ensure that every piece of paper is essential. If it is not, we will try to get rid of it.

Mr Kennedy:

I welcome the Minister's announcement. Will he consider giving local authorities a more active role? I want to emphasise to him the need for localised offices to represent the new agency so that local entrepreneurs can, at first hand, avail of the important services that will be available. I think, in particular, of the needs of my constituency and of Newry and Armagh, which would both be very important venues for such an agency.

Sir Reg Empey:

I understand that Newry and Armagh are important venues for the Member, and I am very pleased to see that the south-east is at least trying to compete with the north-west. On a serious note, I said that there will be a regional dimension to this organisation's work, and the precise nature of that is yet to be determined, but I am sure that the Member will have more to say to me about that on another occasion.

There is significant potential for a more active role for local authorities. I believe very strongly in local economic development, as the Member knows. However, as I said in response to Mr Poots, the attempt to accelerate the work of local authorities is, to some extent, constrained by the present scale of some of the local authorities. I would like to see some reorganisation, and I see no reason for that to take four years. I hope that it will happen much sooner. A restructured local government with a clearer view of what local authorities should be doing would deliver. Local authorities have proved that, if given responsibility, they can deliver.

I assure the Member that that will be one of our priorities.

(Mr Speaker in the Chair)

Mr P Doherty:

Go raibh maith agat, a Cheann Comhairle. Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me this opportunity to wish the Minister, his family and his entire Department a Happy Christmas and a good New Year. I am looking forward very much to the autumn of next year when I will welcome him to West Tyrone to open the regional office there.

Sir Reg Empey:

It is tempting to say "No comment," but I think - [Interruption]

I know who is at my back, Mr Speaker. I will not fall into the trap that has been set for me. It is safe to say that the Member may be seeing me sooner than that, if things go according to plan tomorrow.

I do take the regional dimension to this extremely seriously; perhaps I have been taking it even more seriously as the morning has gone on. Perhaps it was unwise even to suggest it, but it will have to have a regional dimension - of that there is no doubt. I thank Members for their contributions.


Assembly Business


Mr Speaker:

The Second Stage of the Electronic Communications Bill has been withdrawn.


Dogs (Amendment) Bill: Final Stage


The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (Ms Rodgers):

I beg to move

That the Dogs (Amendment) Bill (NIA 7/99) do now pass.

For the benefit of Members I shall summarise why the Bill was introduced and its main provisions.

Under existing legislation, courts and resident magistrates have no discretion in dealing with a dog that has attacked a person or has worried livestock. They must order that the dog be destroyed. There are relatively few cases each year where destruction orders are made; there were 56 last year. However, I consider it appropriate that courts and resident magistrates should have some discretion in determining the fate of a dog. The major change proposed is that rather than order the destruction of a dog, a court may opt to make an order requiring certain measures, such as muzzling or confinement, to be taken to prevent the dog from being a danger to the public and livestock.

Mr Peter Robinson was concerned that this did not go far enough, in that it did not cater for special circumstances in which a court might wish to absolve the dog instead of applying restrictive measures. Consequently, he moved an amendment at Further Consideration Stage which the Assembly accepted and which, in effect, gives a court the discretion not to apply restrictive measures if it is satisfied that exceptional mitigating factors exist. A court will, therefore, have the widest possible discretion.

The second change relates to dangerous dogs. At present, when a person is convicted of an offence relating to a dangerous dog, the court must make an order for the destruction of the dog. The Bill will give the courts the discretion not to order the destruction of the dog if they are satisfied that it will not be a danger to the public.

The third change relates to the powers of resident magistrates in connection with the seizure of dogs. Under the Bill, a resident magistrate must still order the destruction of a dangerous dog, but the Bill, if passed, will allow a person to apply for a certificate of exemption from the requirement to have the dog destroyed. The conditions of this certificate must be complied with within two months of the date of the order. In relation to all other seized dogs, the Bill proposes that a resident magistrate should have discretion not to order the destruction of such a dog, if he is satisfied that it is not a danger to the public.

Finally, the Bill also allows for a reconsideration of cases where it has been ordered that a dog be destroyed but where the destruction has not taken place.

I am grateful to the Members who contributed to the debate on the Bill. I also wish to express my thanks to the Chairman and members of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee who carried out detailed scrutiny of the Bill and who afforded my officials the opportunity to give evidence to it.

Mr P Robinson:

The Bill has been improved by the Assembly's acceptance of the amendment. May I say to the Minister that since my election to the House of Commons in 1979, I have probably proposed over 100 amendments at Westminster. Never once did I succeed in having an amendment accepted, so I welcome the fact that the duck has been broken by the Minister and the Assembly's accepting the amendment at Further Consideration Stage.

From a local government point of view, I will closely monitor several other elements to which the Minister responded in writing to see how they work out in practice. If further amendments are necessary, I will be happy to let the Minister know the reactions of the people who have to enforce the legislation that this House will pass.

Ms Rodgers:

I welcome the Member's comments. I am pleased that these new structures have not only allowed us to bring this Bill forward, but have also allowed Mr P Robinson to break new ground. I hope he recognises that his Northern Ireland Colleagues perhaps have a more open mind and are more flexible than his Westminster Colleagues. That is also a bonus.

Question put and agreed to.


That the Dogs (Amendment) Bill (NIA 7/99) do now pass.


Salary of Comptroller and Auditor General

The Chairperson of the Audit Committee (Mr Dallat):

I beg to move

That the annual salary of the Comptroller and Auditor General shall be increased to £100,028 with effect from 20 December 2000.

As this is the season of goodwill, I hope we will not have too many problems with the motion.

Legislation requires an Assembly motion to change the Comptroller and Auditor General's salary. Under the terms of his appointment he was due an increase from 1 April 2000. I have agreed with the Minister of Finance and Personnel that it is appropriate for me as Chairperson of the Audit Committee to move this motion in the light of my Committee's important role in the examination of the expenses and work of the Comptroller and Auditor General. The Audit Committee has considered the background to the amount stipulated and recommends it to the Assembly.

I will explain the reasoning behind this. If amendments proposed to the Government Resources and Accounting Bill are passed, it will further increase the Comptroller and Auditor General's ability to follow public money wherever it goes in Northern Ireland on the Assembly's behalf. This would increase his workload and responsibility, an issue which my Committee will be reporting on in its forthcoming report to the Assembly.

The Comptroller and Auditor General is an officer of the Assembly and plays a vital role in providing it with independent assurance, information, advice and proper accounting for the assets and liabilities of Northern Ireland Departments, as well as other public expenditure. He is required by statute to examine and certify the accounts of all Northern Ireland Government Departments and a wide range of other public sector bodies, including Executive agencies. He also audits several central Government accounts by agreement with the Department of Finance and Personnel and the bodies concerned and, on behalf of the National Audit Office, the accounts of the NIO and the Northern Ireland Court Service. He also reports to the Assembly on value for money, and the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the use of resources, which makes Departments accountable to the Assembly for the money they receive from the public purse.

My Committee has seen at first hand the commitment and dedication of the Comptroller and Auditor General and the staff of the Northern Ireland Audit Office in carrying out these tasks. I therefore commend the motion to the House.

Mr Speaker:

There have been no requests from Members to address this matter.

12.45 pm

Question put and agreed to.


That the annual salary of the Comptroller and Auditor General shall be increased to £100,028 with effect from 20 December 2000.


Assembly Members' Allowances Determination


Rev Robert Coulter (Assembly Commission):

I beg to move

That the Northern Ireland Assembly (Members' Allowances) Determination 2000 (NIA 26/00) be approved.

Before getting into the detail of the allowances determination, Members may find it helpful if I set out the background to the Determinations and to the one that the Assembly will consider shortly.

In February 1999, the Assembly Commission presented its first report to the Assembly, which established the basis for the Assembly estimates of £36 million. After a debate, the Assembly passed the following resolution:

"That this Assembly will accept the recommendations of the Senior Salaries Review Body in respect of the salaries and allowances for Ministers and Members."

- [Official Report, Vol 12, No 3, p125].

The Assembly Commission has remained faithful to that principle during the passage of three Bills dealing with Members' pensions, financial assistance to political parties, severance allowances to Members, and the 1999 Determinations of salaries and allowances.

The Commission has continued to follow the recommendation of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) that the allowances Determination should be uprated by the increase in the retail price index for the period 1999-2000, calculated at 2·6%.

I will now deal with each allowance as I go through each paragraph of the schedule to the Determination. Paragraph 1 deals with travel allowances. The rate for mileage under 20,000 miles has been increased from 51·2 pence to 52·5 pence per mile, with the 20,000-plus miles rate increasing from 23·6 pence to 24·2 pence per mile. The rate for mileage in a hired car also increases from 51·2 pence to 52·5 pence per mile. For those hardy souls who travel by bike, the rate per mile increases from 6·5 pence to 6·7 pence per mile. I am sure that will be welcomed by them all.

Paragraph 2 covers subsistence rates. The rate for hotels inside London is increased to a maximum of £150 per night, with a maximum of £100 per night elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Those changes reflect the difficulty of finding suitable accommodation at the present rates of £100 and £80 respectively. Outside the UK, the provision in this Determination has been set at a maximum of £200 per day on a full-board basis. That provision removes the need for reference to outdated Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) rates, which caused Members travelling abroad some confusion. However, the Finance Office will use up-to-date FCO rates as a guide to expected outlay. There is also an allowance of £5 for out-of-pocket expenses.

Paragraph 3 of the Determination adds 2·6% to the office costs allowance, an increase from £34,850 to £35,756 per year. Many Members will welcome that increase, modest though it may be.

The disability allowance remains unchanged. However, for the purpose of clarity, the word "disability" has been defined in paragraph 4 and "session" has been redefined as a year.

Recall expenses remain the same, and paragraph 5 refers to this. In paragraph 6, travel allowance for employees remains as before, although the opportunity has been taken to define "Inland Revenue rates." Paragraph 7 does not change previous arrangements for staff pensions and redundancies, although the wording has been changed slightly to increase clarity of expression.

The rules on temporary secretarial allowance in paragraph 8 have been radically altered. Previously, that allowance was payable only after office cost allowance had been exhausted. The new provisions separate those two allowances. A temporary secretarial allowance can now be paid irrespective of the position in regard to office cost allowance. That is in line with new arrangements at Westminster.

Paragraph 9 is new. It allows for the annual uprating of certain allowances in the Determination according to the change in the retail prices index over the previous year, as recommended by the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB). This provision obviates the need for an allowance Determination to be brought before the Assembly annually. More importantly, it will allow Members to arrange for the uprating of the wages of their support staff at the beginning of the financial year.

Paragraph 10 is also new, although it contains little that is different. It merely defines some of the terms used in the Determination, many of which appeared as sub-paragraphs in the 1999 Determination. It is proposed that with the agreement of the Assembly - and I stress that - the provisions of this Determination will take effect from 29 May 2000, which was the date of the reinstatement of the Assembly following suspension. Obviously, we cannot legislate for the period of suspension.

The Commission is aware that there is some discomfort with the principle of backdating rises in allowances and salaries. However, I remind Members that the Commission is only proposing to put in place the same arrangements as exist in Westminster, Scotland and Wales: a 2·6% uprating of allowances with effect from 1 April 2000. Many Members have already introduced wage increases for their staff. These Members will experience financial difficulties if the rise in allowances is not backdated to the beginning of the financial year. I commend the allowances Determination to the Assembly.

Mr Speaker:

There is one amendment on the Marshalled List, standing in the name of Mr Conor Murphy.

Mr C Murphy:

Go raibh maith agat, a Cheann Comhairle. I beg to move the following amendment: At the end add

"subject to the date in paragraph 1(5) being amended to 31 March 2001".

This amendment is intended to be consistent with the other amendment that we introduced, which, apparently, others have come to support. Its purpose is to ensure that this comes into effect on 31 March. I sympathise with those who work in our offices because I am aware of the amount of work staff in my own office cover. However, I doubt Rev Robert Coulter's assertion that Members are in financial difficulties over this.

This Assembly has a duty. In the debate yesterday, many impassioned arguments were made on behalf of those who face hefty rates bills over the coming years. We have a duty to set an example in our dealings with our own finances. If we backdate our current allowances, which will include the travel allowance, Members will be remunerated for finances lost between 29 May and the present.

The public scrutinises our actions - that is both appropriate and welcome - and we have a duty to it. We have a duty to show that we are restrictive in awarding finances to ourselves. This amendment is consistent with the previous amendment regarding salaries. I urge the Assembly to support this amendment.

Mr Speaker:

There have been no further requests to speak.

Question put That the amendment be made.

The Assembly divided: Ayes 15; Noes 52.


Bairbre de Brún, Pat Doherty, Michelle Gildernew, John Kelly, Alex Maskey, Barry McElduff, Gerry McHugh, Mitchel McLaughlin, Pat McNamee, Francie Molloy, Conor Murphy, Mick Murphy, Mary Nelis, Dara O'Hagan, Sue Ramsey.


Ian Adamson, Alex Attwood, Roy Beggs, Billy Bell, Paul Berry, P J Bradley, Joe Byrne, Mervyn Carrick, Seamus Close, Wilson Clyde, Robert Coulter, Annie Courtney, John Dallat, Nigel Dodds, Reg Empey, David Ervine, John Fee, David Ford, Tommy Gallagher, Oliver Gibson, John Gorman, Carmel Hanna, Denis Haughey, Joe Hendron, David Hilditch, Derek Hussey, Gardiner Kane, Danny Kennedy, Patricia Lewsley, Alban Maginness, Kieran McCarthy, David McClarty, Donovan McClelland, William McCrea, Alasdair McDonnell, Alan McFarland, Eugene McMenamin, Monica McWilliams, Jane Morrice, Sean Neeson, Danny O'Connor, Eamonn ONeill, Edwin Poots, Ken Robinson, Mark Robinson, Peter Robinson, Brid Rodgers, George Savage, Jim Shannon, John Tierney, Jim Wells, Jim Wilson.

Question accordingly negatived.

Main Question put and agreed to.


That the Northern Ireland Assembly (Members' Allowances) Determination 2000 (NIA 26/00) be approved.


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