‘Two years benefit freeze unacceptable’ – Ritchie

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Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has hit out at the Government’s proposal to end the link between benefits and inflation. Speaking about the possibility of a two year benefits freeze Ms Ritchie stated, “This proposal is deeply worrying ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget statement and is yet another example of the government vilifying the poor as a smokescreen for their own poor economic record. The government should be concentrating on creating jobs rather than removing or cutting benefits from those who need them.” “A two year benefits freeze would be absolutely unacceptable, especially as the government is discussing including disability benefit in their proposals. This would hit the poorest in society and do absolutely nothing for growth as it would actually remove money from our local economy at a time when it is needed most.” She added, “Such a move could cut £5 a week from those on job-seekers allowance – a substantial amount for those who need it most. “In their headline grabbing efforts to make cuts to the benefits system the government is thrashing about wildly rather than looking for any meaningful or sustainable reform. I will most certainly oppose any such measure that is brought before Parliament.”
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