Call for benefit appeals such as PIPs and Universal Credit be removed from courthouses | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

Call for benefit appeals such as PIPs and Universal Credit be removed from courthouses

A member of Stormont’s Justice Committee has proposed that a reconfiguration of courthouses in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis is used as an opportunity to remove benefit appeals from what she described as “such an inappropriate environment”.

Local MLA Sinead Bradley said that people challenging decisions relating to social security awards are often vulnerable.

 

 

They should, she said, be supported rather than feeling like they have done something wrong.

Speaking to Newry Times, Sinead said, “The use of courthouses for Benefit Appeal Tribunals is, in my view, entirely inappropriate.

“It sends a damaging message to those who are seeking to challenge decisions about their entitlement to support.

 

 

“The people forced to challenge awards are often vulnerable and our focus should be on supporting them to get the right result rather than subjecting them to a criminal justice environment.

 

 

“Our Court Houses will undergo a reconfiguration process as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

“I have proposed that we use that process as the opportunity to remove benefit appeals from these formal environments.

 

 

She added, “The Justice Minister and the Minister for Communities must move on this issue to support vulnerable people.”

 

Keep up to date with all the latest Northern Ireland Coronavirus / Covid-19 news HERE

 

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Posted by on May 29 2020. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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