§ 19. Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many companies are signed up to the Government's New Deal initiative in Northern Ireland. 
§ Mr. McFall
Since the launch of the New Deal on 6 April 1998, 1,851 Northern Ireland companies have each confirmed their support for New Deal by signing an Employer Agreement. This figure has steadily increased over the 10 months of New Deal's lifetime and already exceeds the target of 1,500 Agreements for the first full year.