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Government must deliver on Lord Empey`s amendments to NI (Executive Formation) Bill

Ulster Unionist Peer Lord Empey and Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA, have stated that the Westminster Government must deliver on Lord Empey`s amendments to the NI (Executive Formation) Bill which were passed today in the House of Commons.

Lord Empey said:

“I am pleased that all five of my amendments to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill were passed in the House of Commons today. There are many pressing issues affecting Northern Ireland and in the absence of a devolved administration, the Government needs to step up to the plate and fill the void that has been left through a lack of local political decision making.

“Parliament now needs to hold the Government to account in how it deals with libel reform in Northern Ireland, setting up an RHI Hardship Unit in the Department for the Economy, ensuring implementation of the suicide prevention strategy, establishing welfare mitigation support from March 2020, and tackling the awful health and social care waiting times in Northern Ireland.

“If the Westminster Government does not deliver on these issues in a meaningful way, then they will be showing disdain and disrespect to the ordinary people of Northern Ireland.”

Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA, said:

“The passing of these amendments should be a wake-up call to Government in Westminster and those local politicians who put their selfish ideology before the re-establishment of devolved government in Northern Ireland. National government must step in and take those important political decisions that have been put on the back burner whilst some local parties sit on their hands. If they don`t, then the will of Parliament must take over.

“Parliament is consumed with Brexit at the moment, but the issues which Lord Empey raised affect people on a daily basis and will continue to do so after Brexit. We need to see movement on these sooner rather than later.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Wording of Lord Empey’s amendments to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill

Page 3, line 39, at end insert —

“() The Secretary of State must, on or before 21 October 2019, publish a report on progress on the establishment of a Renewable Heat Incentive Hardship Unit in the Department for the Economy (unless an Executive has already been formed).”

Page3, line 39, at end insert—

“() The Secretary of State must, on or before 21 October 2019, publish a report on progress on libel legislation in Northern Ireland and any plans to align Northern Irish legislation with libel legislation in the rest of the United Kingdom (unless an Executive has already been formed).”

Page 3, line 39, at end insert—

“() The Secretary of State must, on or before 21 October 2019, publish a report on progress of the implementation of the “Protect Life 2 –Strategy for Suicide Prevention in Northern Ireland (unless an Executive has already been formed).”

Page3, line 39, at end insert —

“() The Secretary of State must, on or before 21 October 2019, publish a report on an assessment of by how much demand there is for elective care services and how this is exceeding health service capacity for both new and existing patients across Northern Ireland, and detailing each of the current measures being taken to reduce health and social care waiting times, as well as those that are planned, and the impact of NHS waiting times on children (unless an Executive has already been formed).”

Page 3, line 39, at end insert —

“() The Secretary of State must, on or before 1 December 2019, publish a report on the future welfare mitigation support measures that will be in place after March 2020 (unless an Executive is formed on or before 1 December 2019).”

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