Category Archives: This Week at Stormont

Beggs urges Taxi Support Scheme rethink

Ulster Unionist Infrastructure Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA, has gained support from the Infrastructure Committee to lobby the Minister to rethink rules governing the Taxi Driver support scheme. East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs said, “A taxi driver made me aware of the overly harsh assessment of those who applied for the £1500 Taxi Driver, COVID Support payment. I consider it unreasonable to exclude taxi drivers who had long term taxi insurance and had taken an ‘insurance holiday’ during part of the qualifying period, due to the lack of work. I am pleased that the Committee agreed when I raised the issue and as a Committee we are pursuing with the Department of Infrastructure the treatment of Taxi Drivers who had taken an insurance holiday”.

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Beggs questions why Belfast International Airport is only NI airport not to have received COVID-19 emergency funding

UUP Infrastructure spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has questioned why support has not been provided to Belfast International Airport after a response to a Written Question from him revealed that Belfast City Airport and City of Derry Airport have both received emergency funding during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the response from the Infrastructure Minister, Roy Beggs MLA said: “It is welcome that the Minster is meeting with Belfast International Airport but questions remain to be answered as to why the Minster was able to provide support to City of Derry Airport and to Belfast City Airport but not, as of yet, to support the principle NI Airport which provides emergency landing space, and whose 24hr operation is important for emergency movement of patients and of organs for transplantation.” ENDS Notes: The Written Question and answer from the Minister are below: AQW 10277/17-22 DATE FOR ANSWER: THURSDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2020 ROY BEGGS … Continue reading

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Beggs welcomes Business Case approval for new Mental Health Inpatient Unit at Antrim Hospital

Ulster Unionist Party representative Roy Beggs MLA has welcomed the approval of a Business Case for the development of a new Mental Health Inpatient Unit at Antrim Area Hospital. Roy Beggs MLA said “I am glad to hear that the Business Case for the development of the new Mental Health Inpatient Unit on the Antrim Area Hospital site has been approved. This new facility will replace the outdated Holywell and Tobernaveen sites. The new, modern and purpose built facility will have 134 beds and provide a considerable upgrade and replacement.” Ends

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Dodds needs to act swiftly following Wind Turbine fiasco

Ulster Unionist Infrastructure Spokesperson, Roy Begs MLA, has called on the Economy Minister Diane Dodds to take swift action to recoup half a million pounds paid out to wind turbine owners under emergency coronavirus funding, and help restore public confidence. Roy Beggs MLA said: “The news that almost half a million pounds was handed out by the Department of the Economy to 52 wind turbine owners in Northern Ireland from emergency coronavirus funding, will come as a slap in the face to those people and businesses who could not avail of any support, and as a shock to the public as a whole. “The Economy Minister Diane Dodds needs to get a grip on her Department and find out just how this was allowed to happen. Nobody could seriously say that Covid-19 was going to affect the wind, and therefore at some point someone should have stepped in to prevent … Continue reading

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Public Accounts Committee should investigate Northern Ireland Renewable Obligation scheme (NIRO) – Beggs

Roy Beggs MLA, Ulster Unionist member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has highlighted the need for the PAC to carry out an investigation into the generation of electricity from renewable energy in Northern Ireland. This follows the publication of the Northern Ireland Audit Office report entitled ‘Generating electricity from renewable energy’. Mr Beggs said: “Given the scale of the costs involved in the overpayments, and Northern Ireland`s past experience of the RHI debacle, I believe that the Public Accounts Committee should carry out a further investigation into the Northern Ireland Renewable Obligation scheme. We simply cannot afford to let this slip by. “The Comptroller and Auditor General`s report makes for uncomfortable reading and should sound alarm bells within Government. The warning signs are there in the NIAO report. It also raises questions for the future. What will be the extra unnecessary cost to our economy and how much extra … Continue reading

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