Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Monday, 26 November 2012

Question Time: Finance and Health

The Health Minster said he would not rush to issue to guidelines on abortion, on 26 November 2012.

Edwin Poots was replying to a question prompted by the death of Savita Halappanavar.

Mrs Halappanavar died in October after a miscarriage at a hospital in Galway.

In reply to a question from the SDLP's Alban Maginness, Mr Poots said "social abortion is not something I will ever be bringing before this house".

Sandra Overend of the UUP wanted to know if the minister would be following the inquiry into the Galway tragedy closely.

"We set the rules here in relation to abortion," Mr Poots replied.

He said he was glad that control over abortion legislation did not lie with Westminster.

The minister also replied to questions on paediatric heart surgery, and the Transforming Your Care consultation.

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson said sub-economic bids for public tenders were not in anybody's interest.

In reply to a question to the DUP's Paul Frew, the minister outlined the policies that allowed government bodies to exclude bids that appeared to be too low.

Mr Wilson said that ultimately industry had to take responsibility, and that sub-economic bids "drive companies to the wall".

The SDLP leader, Alasdair McDonnell, wanted to know the number of shops that had closed in the past year and how many charity shops, which pay no rates, had opened in their place.

The minister said the answer was "not available in the Big Black Book of Answers I have to look at today".

He advised the member to look at the positive measures he had announced.


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