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THE Assembly yesterday

defed Justice Minister David


Ford by voting in support of
automatic custodial sentences
for attacks on the elderly.
Before the debate, Mr Ford
issued a statement telling
MLAs that the issue was too
complex and should be left to
judges.
But a narrow majority of
MLAs rejected his advice,
with 44 supporting the motion
and 41 voting against.
The DUP and UUP backed
the motion, while the TUV,
nationalist parties and the
Alliance Party opposed it.
Assembly
defes Ford
142m spending
boost for Ulster
ULSTER is waking up to good
news today in the midst of the
biggest strike in a generation,
with government promises
of an additional 142 million
investment.
Some 200,000 public sector
workers across Northern Ireland
have been called out on strike
today in a bitter dispute over
pension cuts.
But Secretary of State Owen
Paterson last night said that
keeping interest rates low
was helping businesses and
families across Northern
Ireland and that planned fuel
duty increases were cancelled.
As a result of government
spending announcements, the
Northern Ireland Executive will
also receive an additional 142
million, the vast majority of
which is for capital expenditure
over the spending review period,
he said.
While it is for the Executive to
decide how this money is spent,
it should come as welcome news
for our construction industry in
these tough times.
However, trade unions said last
night that other announcements
by the chancellor had driven an
even greater gap between them
and the government in talks.
BY PHILIP BRADFIELD
p.bradfeld@newsletter.co.uk
See page 3
PIctuRE: Brian
Little/Presseye.com
Reds give
Chelsea the
Blues SEE SPORT
The pride of Northern Ireland
Price: 72p (IR 1.05 EuRO) Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Linda Dunlop and her
daughter Joanne attend
the frst screening of the
Joey Dunlop No Ordinary
Joe documentary DVD
with Peter Duke of Duke
Marketing.
the flm contains
poignant interviews,
family memories and
personal recollections
from friends, teammates
and fans of the
motorcycling legend, who
died in 2000.
Film delves
into life of
a legend
FLAME-HAIRED Omagh
teenager Janet Devlin is
reported to have bagged
herself a record contract
despite being voted off ITV
talent show the X Factor on
Sunday night.
There were unconfrmed
reports last night that a
record company co-owned
by Dragons Den star Duncan
Bannatyne thought she was
destined for success due to
her amazing talent and great
image.
Janet offered
record deal
Since 1737
www.newsletter.co.uk
INSIDE
SFP payment boost
welcomed by Union
THE Ulster Farmers Union has responded positively to the commitment given by Farm Minister Michelle ONeill MLA to have 200 million paid out by way of the 2011 Single Farm Payment (SFP) scheme by the end of December just over four weeks from now. UFU president John Thompson told Farming Life that the UFU welcomes this weeks announcements regarding payment processing targets for 2011 Single Farm Payments and 2012 Less Favoured Areas Compensatory Allowances. He added: The Single Farm Payment is a very important element of many farmers incomes therefore it is essential that the
payment processing targets are met and that any outstanding payments are processed and paid as quickly as possible. We are also eager to see if DARDs new system of electronically recording and notifying of inspection fndings will help to speed up the payment of outstanding claims. Farmers For Actions William Taylor has also welcomed the ministers announcements, claiming that the forthcoming payments will signifcantly boost cash fows on farms right across Northern Ireland. He added: But I am also calling on the minister to ensure that all individual farm queries, regarding the SFP system, are expedited by DARD staff as quickly as possible, so as to prevent undue payment delays. On Monday of this week
Agriculture Minister Michelle ONeill MLA, announced the payment processing targets for 2011 Single Farm Payments (SFP) and 2012 Less Favoured Areas Compensatory Allowances (LFACA). Outlining the targets, Minister ONeill said: My department will begin to pay out 2011 Single Farm Payments in December. We are aiming to pay 83% of claims in December and a total of 90% by the end of January. The payments will be paid into farmers bank accounts from around 9 December and the vast majority will be completed before Christmas. I am pleased to say that this years exchange rate is slightly more favourable for those farmers who receive their payments in sterling. The December payments alone will be worth in the region
of 200 million and will provide important support to farm incomes. Minister ONeill explained that EU rules permit DARD to make payments only when eligibility has been fully established and that this means that not all claims will be paid immediately. She said: EU rules require my department to carry out checks to all claims to verify their eligibility and assess the correct amount due before a payment can be released. Many of the cases that we cannot pay immediately, particularly those with on-farm inspections, have identifed land eligibility concerns and changes to farm maps and therefore require complex assessments which take time to clear. Claims with unresolved queries and which
BY richard halleron
all the latest
equestrian news
PaGeS 9-14
YFc news, reports
and pictures
PaGeS 15-17
200m to be paid out within next four weeks
Wednesday, november 30, 2011
Don't be u
couch potuto !
Sell your produce n
ClussIeds
Kmul lneuge to clussIed@IurmnglIe.com
hollie and annie Mccook, from Portrush, arent hanging around as they eye up some of the specially themed Tractor christmas cards now
available from www.nationalMinitrac.com. PicTUre: KeVin McaUleY PhoToGraPhY MUlTiMedia
continued on page three
Marching bands
festival special
PULL-OUT INSIDE
See pages 6, 7, 8 & 9
See page 13

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