McKevitt calls for further funding for welfare advice providers
Speaking in a debate in the Northern Ireland Assembly this week MLA Karen McKevitt informed the Minister for Social Development of the crucial role that independent welfare advisors play in encouraging and increasing Benefit Uptake.
Speaking to Newry Times, McKevitt said it was up to the Assembly to ensure that people have access to independent advice and assistance on welfare so they can receive the benefits they are entitled to. To make this possible it is imperative that independent advice providers receive adequate funding.
“I wish to pay tribute to the independent advice providers. Citizens Advice Bureau and Advice NI are two such charities that come to mind. Both are a real lifeline to many and since changes in the Welfare system began both have found themselves overwhelming inundated with calls from individuals seeking advice.”
Speaking after the debate the MLA added, “I welcome the recognition from the Minister that the current strategy needs renewed and revised in context of the Welfare Reform Bill and the SDLP will be pushing for this revision to take place as soon as possible.”