T3. Mr Poots asked the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to estimate AFBI’s ability to engage in research in the coming years. (AQT 2273/11-15)
Why has the Minister disproportionately slashed the AFBI budget by more than twice everybody else's cuts? It is close to 30%, which is going to lead to 400 job losses, including the closure of Crossnacreevy, the Omagh facility, and a significant reduction in the services conducted at Hillsborough.
I welcome the opportunity to participate in the debate. I know it is a debate that the Alliance Party wanted to close down a few months ago, making it very clear that that was the case. Interestingly enough, it comes to the Floor today with its proposal, and I think that that is on the basis that it has been publicly losing the argument and knows that it has been losing it. People are now publicly saying that this matter needs to be discussed, that we need to find a middle way and that there is, in fact, too much discrimination against people of Christian faith who have real concerns about engaging in particular things and being forced to do things that they are totally opposed to.
Ballinderry, Ballymacash, Ballymacbrennan, Ballymacoss, Blaris, Derryaghy, Dromara, Dromore North, Dromore South, Drumbo, Glenavy, Gransha, Harmony Hill, Hilden, Hillhall, Hillsborough, Knockmore, Lagan Valley, Lambeg, Lisnagarvey, Maghaberry, Magheralave, Maze, Moira, Old Warren, Quilly, Seymour Hill, Tonagh, Wallace Park.