Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 15:03 UK

Question Time: Environment and Finance

The Environment Minister voiced his objection to proposed EU regulations that would see additional testing and licensing of vehicles, on 23 October 2012.

"I have endorsed the London negotiating position in opposition to these proposals," Alex Attwood said.

The UUP's Joanne Dobson said it was typical of the European Union attempting to oppose a "nonsense policy" on its members.

The minister disagreed with this view of the EU.

He said Brussels was within days of releasing £17m in funding for the Narrow Water bridge, near Newry.

Jim Allister of the TUV asked about the proposal to introduce an "MOT" test for agricultural vehicles.

Mr Attwood agreed that the costs would be "extravagant and excessive".

The minister was asked about road accident figures.

He said said there had been 31 deaths so far this year, compared to 42 in the same time last year, but Mr Attwood warned that "we are only one catastrophe away" from a major change to the figures.

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson was asked by the UUP's Tom Elliott about a ban on the issue of Finance Department press releases to the Press Association (PA).

Mr Wilson explained that the PA had run a story about a year previously that he described as "completely without foundation".

The minister said he had made it clear that the PA would not get any co-operation from him, or his department.

He said he had a meeting with the PA and was given an apology, which had not been made public.

"I do not expect, and will not allow, people to wilfully walk over the top of me," Mr Wilson said.

Mr Elliott asked whether the minister had complained to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

The minister confirmed that he had brought the matter to the attention of the PCC, and it had upheld his complaint.


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