Minister must outline plan to provide protection from triple hit end of financial aid, says Armstrong

The Communities Minister must outline how individuals and families will be protected once a number of support provisions close at the end of September, Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said. Speaking as the “triple hit” of the end of the emergency notice to quit provision, contained in the Private Tenancies (Coronavirus Modifications) Bill, the end […]

PIP report outlines ‘systemic maladministration’, says Armstrong

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong welcomes the stark but well researched report by the NI Public Service Office (NIPSO) who have identified ‘systemic maladministration’ in the PIP system. After the new report highlighted significant failings in the system, Kellie – Vice Chair of the Communities committee, called on the Minister to urgently outline her planned actions […]

Armstrong calls for urgent legislation to ensure continuation of welfare mitigations

Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has called for legislation to be moved urgently to ensure welfare mitigations will continue. Without new legislation, the current package of mitigations are due to end on March 31. Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong said clarity was needed quickly for the thousands of people who benefit from mitigations. “Welfare mitigations […]

Armstrong calls on Finance Minister to allocate money for reform of ‘six-month’ rule

Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has called on the Finance Minister to consider allocating money to reform the controversial ‘six-month’ rule for terminally ill people. As part of a cross-party letter, MLAs wrote to Conor Murphy to urge him to give the Department for Communities (DFC) £2 million to progress reform of the Special […]

Armstrong disappointed at Capita PIP extension

Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said she is disappointed after the Capita organisation received an extension to its contract to deliver assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP). The organisation, which has received consistent criticism for its assessment scheme, will have its contract with the Department for Communities – initially due to expire in […]

Local Government should link up with Executive to provide jobs and benefit advice, says Eastwood

Local Government should be linked up with Executive Departments to provide a one-stop shop for those seeking advice around jobs, benefits, reskilling and training opportunities, Alliance Councillor Sorcha Eastwood has said. Councillor Eastwood was speaking after meeting with officials from the Department for Communities, alongside party colleague Kellie Armstrong MLA. She said a wraparound service […]

Armstrong disappointed after confirmation European advice service to close

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said she is disappointed after it was confirmed an advice service giving guidance on living and working in other European countries is to close at the end of the year. The European Employment Service provides information for those wishing to live and work in other European Economic Area countries, as […]

Universal Credit changes need implemented, says Armstrong

The recommendations of a new report which states radical changes are needed to the universal credit system should be implemented, Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said. The report, commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and co-authored by researchers from the University of York and Ulster University, says changes such as ending the five-week […]

Armstrong calls for additional pandemic benefit support to be extended

Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has called for additional benefit support provided during the pandemic to be extended for a further three months. A number of benefits provided by the Department for Communities during the coronavirus crisis are due to end, with weekly food parcels for those without a shielding letter already stopping last […]

Unacceptable dispute between two biggest parties holding back free school meal payments, says Lyttle

It is unacceptable a dispute between the DUP and Sinn Féin is resulting in a lack of funding for free school meals payments, Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said. Executive Ministers did not sign off on the funding at their meeting yesterday (Monday). It is understood the DUP refused to do so following […]