Ritchie ‘concerned’ over impact of Treasury welfare cap

Newry Times News Posted by
Thursday, July 4th, 2013

SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has criticised the UK Treasury’s plan to implement a welfare cap which could further cut the welfare budget in Northern Ireland.

Speaking in response to her Parliamentary Question Ritchie stated, “We must not be misled by the Conservative-led government’s attempt to shift the blame for their own economic failures onto the vulnerable and people searching for work.

“It was not these people who caused the economic crisis and the constant attempt to vilify those on benefits is a clear act of misdirection from a government that has delivered no growth and left a fragile economy with a record number of young people out of work.

“This attitude was typified by the answer given by the Minister in response to my question regarding the impact of these measures in Northern Ireland.

“No consideration appears to have been given to the actual needs of those on benefits with the approach clearly being to cut first and ask questions later,” Ritchie insisted.

“There is of course a need to reform the benefits system and avoid waste but the UK government are intent on ideologically-motivated draconian cuts which will hurt those who need it most in current economic downturn.

“Northern Ireland has already been hit by a savage cut to welfare provision and this further attack on social security along with the bedroom tax shows that the UK government is determined isolate and castigate the most vulnerable in society.

She added, “Together with my party colleagues in the Assembly we will fight to protect welfare provision from the worst potential impacts of these measures.”

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