Monday, 25 January 2016

PQ: 25 January 2016

Interpretation Costs
Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 25th January 2016.

Ian McCrea DUP
Mr I McCrea asked the Minister of Justice to state the cost to the public purse of providing interpreters in police stations for people who do not speak English as their first language. (AQT 3365/11-16)

David Ford Alliance
Again, whilst Ministers are expected to know quite a lot for topical Question Time, I do not think that it is realistic to expect that questions like that can be discussed. He talks about the cost of interpreters, and there are, of course, costs in the justice system for police station interviews and potential court proceedings. Those issues are determined on the basis of the individual's need. I do not carry around in the top of my head the figures for the total cost last year.

Ian McCrea DUP
Given that other countries across Europe ensure that, if a person is in that country and does not have the language of that country as their first language, they have to pay for the provision of an interpreter and, indeed, bring one with them, does the Minister have a view on whether that should be considered for Northern Ireland? Should people who require an interpreter pay to provide one?

David Ford Alliance
I am not sure whether Mr McCrea has had experience of having to pay for a translation into French, German, Spanish or something himself. I am not aware of the full pattern across Europe. Certainly, the pattern of charging for interpretation services is not common to the justice system or, indeed, other services like the health service in the United Kingdom. It is not something that I have been considering to date.

No comments:

Post a Comment