End of life benefits must apply to NI, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has said there must be clarity that the outcome of a review into end-of-life benefits announced by the UK Government must apply to Northern Ireland. The South Belfast MLA stated: “Coping during the end-of-life period is difficult enough without the additional pressures of managing a reforming welfare system to access […]

Armstrong calls on Department Permanent Secretary to meet MLAs immediately over welfare reform mitigation

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has called on the Department for Communities Permanent Secretary to meet MLAs immediately over welfare reform mitigation measures, after she said she wouldn’t until after May’s Council election. Ms Armstrong was speaking after receiving a letter from Tracy Meharg, following her Department’s review of welfare mitigation funding. Mitigation measures are currently […]

Lunn welcomes news on PIP payments to pensioners no longer needing reviewed

Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn has welcomed news thousands of pensioners in receipt of Personal Independence Payments (PIP) will no longer have to undergo repeat assessments for the benefit. The Department for Communities said it would make the change this spring, to mirror existing legislation in the rest of the UK. It means up to 7,500 […]

Welfare of people replaced by operational performance on benefits, says Armstrong

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said welfare of people has been replaced by operational performance, following a meeting with the Department for Communities. The Strangford MLA was speaking after meeting with the Permanent Secretary and senior members of the Department for Communities about both PIP and Universal Credit. She said she was disappointed the Civil […]

McReynolds says time is running out for those concerned about PIP

Alliance Councillor Peter McReynolds has said time is running out for people affected by Personal Independence Payments (PIP), after he attended a meeting with the Permanent Secretary for the Department of Communities to raise his major concerns about the benefit. The meeting follows a motion Councillor McReynolds recently brought to Belfast City Council, aimed at […]

Armstrong says serious questions must be asked after welfare reform report published

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said serious questions needs to be asked after a report warned the full impact of welfare reforms has yet to be felt here, with further hardships predicted by 2020. The report by the Comptroller and Auditor General said the end of mitigation measures, such as the so called ‘Bedroom Tax’, […]

Department must ensure Mobility Car Scheme managed appropriately

Kellie Armstrong MLA has called on the Department for Communities to urgently consider the National Audit Office report regarding Motability Operations, after it emerged the company which supplies cars for people with mobility issues had been accused of over-charging its customers. Kellie – who is the Chair of the All Party Group on Disability – […]

Report signals two-child policy is ill advised, says Bradshaw

Alliance South Belfast MLA Paula Bradshaw has said the publication of the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty further highlights that a two-child policy is ill advised. Ms Bradshaw – who has led a campaign against the two-child policy – was speaking after the report revealed the lack of an executive and the universal credit roll […]

O’Neill calls for all children to be included on funeral charge waiving scheme

Alliance East Belfast Councillor Sian O’Neill has called for refugee and asylum seeker children to be included in a scheme which will see funeral charges waived for anyone under 18 in Belfast. Councillor O’Neill was speaking after a meeting of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Cemeteries and Crematorium Working Group, at which a paper was presented […]

McReynolds: Council should back MS society campaign

Alliance Councillor Peter McReynolds has called on Belfast City Council to back the scrapping of the 20 metre rule because of the detrimental effect it has those in need of Personal Independence Payments. Under Disability Living Allowance individuals were required to be able to walk no further than 50 metres to obtain the higher rate […]