Brady voices opposition to Welfare Reform
Sinn Féin MLA Mickey Brady has reiterated Sinn Féin’s opposition to the Welfare Reform agenda being pursued by the the British Government. Mr Brady, who sits on the Assembly Social Development Committee, has called for a focused scrutiny of any proposed legislation on Welfare Reform with a particular emphasis on protections for the most vulnerable.
Speaking today Mr Brady said, “The Welfare Reform Agenda being pursued by the British Tory party is ideologically driven. We would all welcome genuine efforts to streamline the benefit system but what we are facing into here is an attempt by the British government to drive people off benefits. Set against a backdrop of economic recession and a reduced number of available jobs, the claim that this is about getting people back to work is exposed as bogus.”
“This agenda takes no account of the local conditions that many people in the north face with a legacy of underfunding, greater health differentials and the north having some of the most deprived wards. Many of the measures being introduced by the British Government at Westminster are punitive and retrograde measures and will cause hardship for the most vulnerable sections of our society,” Brady said.
He continued, “The Assembly will soon consider legislation to give effect to new conditions governing eligibility for benefits agreed in Westminster. Any proposed legislation must be properly scrutinised. It may be that, given the reality that benefits are administered from London, there will be constraints on the Assembly in the application of Welfare Reform.”
“Nevertheless, we must guard against or seek to mitigate the introduction of measures that will impact negatively on housing, unemployment, family and disability benefits. We have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable and less well off in our community,” Brady added.
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