Debt – An Emergency Situation? A history of the Payments for Debt Act in Northern Ireland and its effects on public employees and people on state benefits, 1989
The Payments of Debt (Emergency Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 (PDA) was enacted in October 1971 to counter a rent and rates strike which had been called in protest against thee introduction of internment in August 1971.
The legislation stated that the Act was to stay in force until six months after the end of the emergency that had caused the Act. The Government of Stormont was given powers, by Order in council, to declare that the emergency which had caused the introduction of the Act was over.
This power was transferred to the Secretary of State for N. Ireland in 1974. After internment ended in 1975 and the strikes called off in 1976 the scope of the Act has since been extended and transferred into ordinary powers in 1988.