Speaking during the Consideration Stage of the Bill in the Assembly on Tuesday, Stewart Dickson MLA said: “There is nothing that has been agreed in recent weeks on welfare reform that could not have happened two years ago.
“As a result of this delay, Northern Ireland will have lost £150million in financial penalties to Westminster. This is money that could have been spent on protecting the most vulnerable in our society. Despite the rhetoric from the SDLP and Sinn Fein, they are responsible for this money being lost to Northern Ireland.
“The failure to resolve our political issues such as welfare reform, led to the Stormont House Agreement and Alliance remains committed to its implementation which is why we backed the all-party agreement on amendments that others chose to ignore. If they wish to see the Agreement unravel then they should bear the responsibility; however Alliance will play its part in seeing it implemented.”