Department of Finance release advice to the Minister over the Bedroom Tax

There was a dispute between the Finance Minister and the Communities Minister over whether mitigation payments could be made to the 34,000 homes who would be impacted by the introduction of the Bedroom Tax in Northern Ireland. Although advice from officials within the department argue that provisions already exist to bring these mitigations in.

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  • Skibo

    Again we see where Paul is prepared to use the weakest of society as pawns to attack his political opponents. How low can you go.
    This is a further example if one was needed where SF are shown trying to make the system work and DUP cannot get away from the bickering and kicking your opponent under the table.

  • mickfealty

    Up to March 2017? If that’s the timeframe SF have in mind for this crisis, I’m not sure it was wise for them to pull the election trigger. That list they produced is going to take a lot longer than that.

  • David McCann

    Second paragraph says administrative matters can deal with this past March.

  • mickfealty

    Thanks David. Cute return blow there from Mairtin then. Don’t you just love zero sum?? 😉

  • Anthony O’Shea

    The Shinners seem to be on the ball at the moment.

  • Briso

    It’s the opposite of zero sum. Yesterday a DUP minister said he thought he couldn’t pay the mitigation payments. An SF minister said he would check it out. He has done and has communicated his advice. This allows both of them to mitigate the effects of the imminent government collapse. Too little to late maybe, but definitely not zero sum.

  • JOHN TURLEY

    Be interesting to see will the communities minister publish his advice now as well/

  • Katyusha

    More like the Communities Minister trying to play on the genuine fears of vulnerable people to fabricate a political topic to beat Sinn Fein with and distract from the anger over the RHI wastage. MO’M asked his staff to investigate (note; he claims to have stepped away from the department to allow them to research this) and the recommendation of his staff is that Givan’s fearmongering is nonsense. If Givan actually cared about protecting vulnerable people rather than using them, he would have obtained the same advice from his own department.

  • john millar

    May we have a look at the actual advice?
    inc Who gave it?

    The Legal Basis bhttp://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/47/section/59/wales/2006-04-03#section-59-1

    Payments out of Fund without appropriation Act.E+W+S+N.I.

    (1)If an Act is not passed at least three working days before the end of a financial year (“year 1”) authorising the issue out of the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland of sums for the service of the next financial year (“year 2”)—

    (a)the authorised officer of the Department of Finance and Personnel may, subject to any Act subsequently passed, authorise the issue of sums out of that Fund for the service of year 2; and

    (b)the sums so issued shall be appropriated for such services and purposes as the officer may direct.

    (2)The aggregate of the sums issued under subsection (1) for the service of year 2 shall not exceed 75 per cent of the total amount appropriated by Act for the service of year 1.

    (3)If an Act is not passed before the end of July in any financial year authorising the issue out of the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland of sums for the service of the year—

    (a)the authorised officer of the Department of Finance and Personnel may, subject to any Act subsequently passed, authorise the issue of sums out of that Fund for the service of the year; and

    (b)the sums so issued shall be appropriated for such services and purposes as the officer may direct.

    (4)The aggregate of the sums issued under subsection (3), and (where applicable) the sums issued under subsection (1), for the service of any financial year shall not exceed 95 per cent of the total amount appropriated by Act for the service of the preceding financial year.

    (5)In this section—

    “Act” means an Act of the Assembly or, in relation to any time before the appointed day, an Order in Council under Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Act 1974;
    “authorised officer”, in relation to the Department of Finance and Personnel, means the Permanent Secretary or such other officer as may be nominated by him for the purpose

    The Caveat in the act

    “The aggregate of the sums issued under subsection (1) for the service of year 2 shall not exceed 75 or 95 per cent of the total amount appropriated by Act for the service of year 1.”

    Note the term “For the service”
    Since there was no “service” (Bedroom Tax relief) in year 1 on what basis will 75% (or 95%) of the service be calculated in year 2 ?

    Which existing services will be reduced to fund any Bedroom Tax relief paid?

    I`m all ears

  • mickfealty

    I’m looking into this one is a bit depth. I think they are possibly both right, but more later. Nice to see you back sir.

  • mickfealty

    Let’s see. John Millar deserves answer from someone I think.

  • Briso

    🙂

  • JOHN TURLEY

    Does not matter how long it takes,,Martin did the right thing, she had to be
    removed when she would not go herself, at the very least she is incompetent

  • john millar

    Was starting “its all going quit over here– its all going quit over here” until I started getting a partial answer as I watch BBC 1 22.50

    Martin carefully avoiding mentioning “the advice” he promoted- diverting- looking a little lost. Jesus did my post start something?
    I feel an FOI coming– on whats the betting that it will be rejected.

  • mickfealty

    He got the better of Paul there John. It’s just a dead letter if Minister Givan can actually fix it by laying it before the Assembly to give it the affirmative action needed via the corporate approval of the Assembly.

    Poor homework from the DUP. Robinson never actually underestimated SF. I’ve a feeling that this may be one of the chinks in Arlene’s armour.

  • Briso

    I didn’t see it. Is it sorted out now? If so, how? Maybe an explanatory post Mick?

  • Briso

    Never mind, this explains it, although it doesn’t answer John Millar’s question which I suppose is now moot.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-38598006

  • john millar

    Trying FOI`s to both departments to get details of the “advice” the poor benighted taxpayer has funded

  • mickfealty

    My guess you’ll get it, but only after the substantive matters are settled.

  • North Down

    Spot on