Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Monday, 26 September 2011 15:35 UK

Question time - OFMDFM and Social Development

Acting deputy first minister John O'Dowd told MLAs that it was hoped that a statement would be issued by the Treasury later in the day on air passenger duty, on 26 September 2011

Speaking at his first question time since his temporary appointment, Mr O'Dowd said the statement was expected to convey a positive message.

The cost of the air tax had been threatening to kill off the only daily service, operated by Continental Airlines, between Belfast and New York.

Junior minister Martina Anderson told members the first and deputy first ministers were driving forward the argument for Peace 4.

If approved by the EU authorities, this would constitute the fourth tranche of the EU programme for peace & reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border region.

The junior minister also told MLAs that, if the EU funding became available, the peace building and reconciliation centre at the Maze Long Kesh site could be built and operational by 2015.

The UUP's David McNarry wanted an update on the current application for funding for the centre.

John O'Dowd said an application for £20m had been made in January 2011.

The minister said the centre would be as much about the future as the past.

Minister for social development Nelson McCausland answered questions on a variety of issues including neighbourhood renewal and a mortgage relief scheme.

In reply to a question form the DUP's Sammy Douglas, the minister said he had visited the Newtownards Road in Belfast following rioting in the area earlier in the year.

He listed work carried out on some properties including the replacement of roof tiles with metal tiles, the fitting of smoke alarms and the boarding-up of windows.

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