Brady: ‘Public meeting on Welfare Rights informative and thought provoking’

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Saturday, January 21st, 2012
Sinn Fein Welfare spokesperson Mickey Brady MLA has described a public meeting held in Ti Chulainn on Thursday 19th January as ‘informative and thought provoking’. The meeting, which was open to all members of the public, focused on the upcoming changes to welfare rights and the whole benefits system and was hosted by local republican ex prisoner group – Iar Chimi Ard Mhacha Theas. Panelists at the meeting included Kathy Stanton and Agnes Frazer, welfare rights advisers with Tar Isteach in north Belfast, Kellie Murray, adviser with Newry & Mourne Citizen’s Advice Bureau and local Sinn Féin MLA and spokesperson on welfare and benefits, Mickey Brady. Speaking from the top table Mickey Brady said that the changes currently being introduced by the Tory led government in Britain were effectively the death knell for the Welfare State. Mr Brady said, “If these cuts are fully implemented it will effectively mark the end of the Welfare State. These cuts can and will be dressed up in a number of ways by those who seek to introduce them but the bottom line will remain the same – an extra £400 million will be removed from social security in the north.  This is in addition to a £4 billion cut to the north’s block grant. This will result in people going without basic human rights of food and shelter – the very essentials of life.” Brady continued, “Through my constituency office in Newry and the other Sinn Féin offices in Crossmaglen and Armagh I am already seeing a huge increase in demand from people who are in danger of losing their benefits. I can only see this trend continuing as the screw tightens on some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.” “It is vital that the community grasp the levels of cuts involved. Through public awareness and public pressure together we can build a campaign not to adopt these reforms in the North. I am glad that tonight’s meeting in Ti Chulainn has been well attended and I hope that people are better informed as a result,” he added.
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