HC Deb 22 January 1998 vol 304 cc634-5W
Mr. Godman

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment she has made of the priorities announced by the Prime Minister for the Social Exclusion Unit in relation to Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement. [22734]

Marjorie Mowlam

Problems of Social Exclusion exist in Northern Ireland as elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Their nature and extent, the circumstances in which they arise, and the appropriate responses are however different.

There is a resonance between the SEU's remit and the Northern Ireland Targeting Social Needs (TSN) initiative. Last year, the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights published their review of employment equality issues in Northern Ireland. Their report included recommendations for the future development of TSN. I am now considering these recommendations as a matter of high importance and will decide on the most appropriate approach to tackling social exclusion in Northern Ireland in this context.