McNarry reveals nearly £6 million a year spent on translation services 

  

McNarry reveals nearly £6 million a year spent on translation services by Northern Ireland departments, public bodies and the PSNI


David McNarry MLA, UKIP leader in Northern Ireland, has revealed what he describes as “colossal” translation costs across Northern Ireland’s government departments, public bodies and the PSNI


“When you tot up the costs to individual departments a figure not far short of £6 million a year emerges,” said the UKIP leader.


He added:


“The Department of Health and Social services spends £2.8 million a year, the Northern Ireland Colleges spend £2.003 million teaching English as a Foreign Language trough public funding via DEL,DSD spends £40,000 a year, DETI £1,000 a year and DCAL £4,000 a year. The Police spent a total of £3.83 million in the 4 years between 2009 and 2013, just under £1 million a year. 


We could get no answer out of John O’Dowd’s private fiefdom known as the Department of Education. They “did not keep records.” In all, the total is about £5.84 million a year.”


“UKIP is insisting that immigrants speak English to a reasonable level before they come here. That is a perfectly reasonable position, especially in the Health Service. To put this in context, this money would go a long way towards funding cancer drugs, or providing more apprenticeships.”

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Notes:

TRANSLATION COSTS 

To ask the Minister for Social Developmentwhat annual budget is set aside by his Department, and its arm’s-length bodies, for translation and interpreter services for foreign nationals.                       AQW 38509/11-15

Answer

In the 2014/15 financial year, the Social Security Agency allocated a total of 

£37,000 to its operational business areas for the purpose of providing translation and interpretation services, if required, to benefit claimants whose first language is not English. The SSA is the only departmental business area that allocates budget for this specific purpose.

The Housing Executive‘s annual budget for Communication Support Services in 2014/15 is £40,000, which is to provide linguistic and disability (or other, for example, age) related communication support to staff. There is no delineation between linguistic support and disability support, but in recent years a significant proportion of the budget has been to support linguistic communications.

 

To ask the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety what annual budget each of the Health and Social Care Trusts set aside for translation and interpreter services for foreign nationals at GP practices. 

Answer

Following the regional Review of Language Interpreting and Translation Services in 2013 the funding of language interpreting services for patients requiring access to all health and social care services, including GP Practices, is provided by the HSCB. 

The HSCB has set aside a budget of £2.8m in 2014/15 to fund this service. There is no specific budget set aside for GP Practices. 

In addition, there is no annual budget set aside for written translation services as all HSC organisations, including GP Practices, pay for written translations as required.

 

To ask the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment what annual budget her Department, and its arm’s-length bodies, set aside for translation and interpreter services for foreign nationals.                AQW 38508/11-15

Answer

Invest NI set aside a specific budget for translation and interpreter services which is currently £1,000. For the rest of DETI and its NDPBs these costs are not met from a specific budget.

 

To ask the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisurewhat annual budget her Department, and its arm’s-length bodies, set aside for translation and interpreter services for foreign nationals.           AQW 38507/11-15

Answer

No annual budget is set aside specifically for translation and interpreter services for foreign nationals though, in recent years, angling guides have been published in Polish, German and Irish (at a total cost of £4,072) and Libraries NI has procured translation services costing £206.

The Department’s arm’s length bodies are able to procure these kinds of services as and when required.

 

To ask the Minister of Education how many foreign national children are taking additional English language lessons in each Education and Library Board; and to detail (i) the additional cost incurred by this; and (ii) whether the additional cost is covered by each Education and Library Board’s budget or the schools delegated budget. AQW 38049/11-15

Answer

The information requested is not routinely collected by my Department. 

My Department’s policy “Every School a Good School: Supporting Newcomer Pupils”, published in April 2009, aims to ensure that newcomer pupils receive the support they need to access the curriculum so that they can fulfil their potential.  

My Department provides funding to schools, through the Common Funding Formula, for each newcomer pupil who has significant language acquisition needs. This enables schools to provide the support most appropriate to their newcomer pupils and it is for them to decide how this funding is utilised. If a school decides to provide additional English language classes for newcomer pupils, the costs are not covered by the Education and Library Boards.

My Department funds the Education and Library Boards’ Regional Inclusion and Diversity Service (IDS) which provides a range of support and advice services to schools, to guide and assist them in making appropriate provision for newcomer pupils, including pupils with English as an additional language.

 

To ask the Minister for Employment and Learning how many foreign national students in each Regional College are taking additional English language lessons; and what additional costs are incurred by each college as a result.AQW 38047/11-15

Answer

During 2012/13, the most recent year for which figures are available, there were 3,207 individuals studying English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses at further education colleges. However, of the 3,207 figure, 2,753 individuals were funded through the further education funding formula, which provided colleges with approximately £2m to support the delivery of ESOL courses. In addition, colleges also have their own fees policies, and can charge students a fee for ESOL provision, depending on the level and duration of the course. Colleges are funded by the Department to deliver ESOL provision in recognition of the benefits that ESOL provision brings to individuals, the economy and society. 

The table overleaf provides a breakdown, by college, of the 2,753 individuals who were enrolled on DEL funded ESOL provision in 2012/13, and the amount of funding provided to each college. 

Therefore, there are no “additional costs”.

Further Education Colleges Funded Provision – English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) 

FE College

Individuals 

Value

 

 

 

Belfast Metropolitan College

852 

£ 1,034,704.47 

 

 

 

Northern Regional College

348 

£ 169,548.60 

 

 

 

North West Regional College

53 

£ 18,900.31 

 

 

 

South Eastern Regional College

187 

£ 173,779.29 

 

 

 

Southern Regional College

743 

£ 336,210.38 

 

 

 

South West College

570 

£ 270,750.25 

 

 

 

Total

2,753 

£ 2,003,893.30 

 

 

 

 

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