Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 16:01 UK

Question Time

The deputy first minister accused the Vatican of "miserably failing" the victims of child sexual abuse, on 8 May 2012.

Speaking during question time, Martin McGuinness said the failings of Rome were a greater issue than the position of Cardinal Sean Brady.

He said he loved the Catholic church but that Catholics throughout Ireland were "dismayed and angry".

Mr McGuinness also said that politicians would not be silenced on the issue.

Cardinal Brady has come under pressure after a BBC documentary accused him of failing to act on abuse allegations when he was a priest.

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy also answered questions on the floor of the house.

He said he had asked his department to conduct a further efficiency review into Translink.

The company's next three-year plan revealed the company expected to move into the red after this year.

The report anticipated Translink would make a profit of £2m this year (2012-2013) but would then start to make significant losses with a deficit of £11.6m expected in 2013-2014, and £10.5m the following year (2014-15).

The DUP's Simon Hamilton asked if there was a "systemic problem with Translink".

Mr Kennedy said he hoped further efficiencies would be made without compulsory redundancies, however, he said: "In order to make things work, all options will have to be considered by Translink."

"I am not a prophet of doom but we will seek to work with Translink to ensure services are maintained to the level that they need to be and that efficiencies, were possible, are driven though," he said.

The minister said he was "wary" of private operators especially regarding the impact they possibly would have on rural services.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland assured members that he had no plans to close any Jobs and Benefits offices.

"The Social Security Agency is currently working with relevant impacted government organisations to consider how best to deliver a range of services through Jobs and Benefits offices as a result of the changes brought about the reform of the welfare system," he said.

He also answered questions on the additional discretionary funding for the shared room allowance.

Mr McCausland acknowledged some people would have to find more affordable accommodation.

"The funding is intended to provide the Housing Executive with enough flexibility to sustain tenancies where additional support is needed in vulnerable cases," he said.

"This will undoubtedly enable more people to be assisted in the short term, although the added funding would not be regarded as a means of mitigating against the various necessary changes which are being implemented," he said.

Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin was asked about the Ulster Scots Academy's inability to spend its full allocation of funding.

Ms Ni Chuilin said a ministerial advisory group, set up to promote an understanding of the Ulster Scots language, history and cultural tradition, had surrendered £500,000 of its £2m allocation.

She said she saw Ulster Scots as a priority and had been assured the money given to it would be spent in future years.

"If they can't spend it, it will go out to the community," she said.


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