Brady: ‘Tory welfare cuts will have negative effects’

Emma Taylor Posted by
Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Sinn Fein Welfare spokesperson Mickey Brady has warned of the negative effects of hard hitting Tory welfare cuts being pushed through by the  Department for Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland. Brady said the cuts would be severe and would increase the hardship being faced by vulnerable people and the working poor in the local community. Speaking after a public meeting in Ballybot House on 8th December, he said, “The depth of these welfare cuts beggars belief and will make the lives of vulnerable citizens, the working poor and a large percentage of households in the North protected by the safety net of welfare much more difficult.”

Criticising the other political parties’ approval of the Conservative legislation Brady continued, “The DUP, Alliance and UUP recently voted to support cuts to benefits which will come into effect in January and will impact on six thousand people, many of them vulnerable adults with mental and physical disabilities who could very well end up on the street. Sinn Fein have had overwhelming support from the voluntary, advice and community sectors in our opposition to this attack on the welfare state which will devastate areas experiencing high levels of deprivation and unemployment such as Newry.”

The Sinn Fein MLA also accused Nelson McCausland of recklessness in his approach. “The DSD Minister’s attempts to push these Tory cuts through is reckless and blinkered and  is being robustly challenged by Sinn Féin. This rush to force a model of welfare reform through which was tested in the South East of England on areas like Newry which have suffered systemic poverty for decades is also going to be yet another assault on the North’s fragile infrastructure and economic recovery.”

On the repercussions of the Tory cuts, Brady said, “The result will be an increase in our older citizens dying of cold related illnesses and the dismantling of incapacity benefit and DLA. It will also lead to the abolition of the social fund such as community care grants, budget and crisis loans. Additionally, there will be severe sanctions on claimants such as loss of benefit as punishment for minor matters. It will be a  one size fits all approach to benefits called the universal benefit with an upper limit paid to large families.”

He continued by stating that there will be, “cuts to mortgage interest payments resulting in thousands of people at risk of losing their homes and a spike in levels of homelessness. It will lead to devastation to small businesses and the local economy resulting in increasing unemployment.”

Brady went on to suggest that the cuts can still be challenged. “I’m meeting Nelson McCausland in the weeks ahead and will be pressing him to roll back on the implementation of these cuts. It’s not to late to stop the worst affects and my party is willing to explore with him ways to ensure that the North’s unique circumstances are fully accounted for. It’s vital the community grasp the levels of cuts involved as through public awareness and public pressure together we can build that necessary pressure to have an impact on these reforms in the North.”

He added, “Nelson McCausland is attempting to wash his hands of these cuts and simply blame British Tory’s as welfare isn’t a devolved matter, well excuses are not good enough. The cuts which will see an additional £400 million chopped of social security, combined with the £4billion already cut to the North’s block grant will end in people not being able to afford the basic essentials of life unless together we work to make a difference.”

Would you like to advertise your business on Newry Times and reach thousands of people every day? Contact the Newry Times office on 028 4062 6520 or email Paul:

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment for “Brady: ‘Tory welfare cuts will have negative effects’”

  1. cynic

    “The cuts can be challenged”? No they cant and for very good reasons. The rates and rules are set in the UK as SF well know. That was part of the deal they signed up to. And to break the rules would be madness – do we really want a Conservative Governmnet given the chance to bring in Regional levels of benefit? Is that SF policy?

    So please dont try and fool us with empty claims of chalelneging the ‘cuts’

Comments are closed

Find us on Facebook

Log in