Dickson says it is now time for the Social Development Minister to face up to the Welfare Reform Bill

Alliance Social Development Spokesperson, Stewart Dickson MLA, has said that it should be up to the Social Development Minister to bring forward the Welfare Reform legislation now and for the Committee to scrutinise it. His comments were made as the Work and Pensions Minister Mike Penning has travelled to Belfast to meet the Social Development Minister over delays in implementing the bill.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “After several court cases in Scotland and England ruled against the flaws in the Welfare Reform changes, it is clear that some parts of this legislation do not stand up to legal scrutiny.

“There is however an urgency to find agreement on the outstanding issues, otherwise the entire Northern Ireland budget will lose out due to the financial penalties which will be imposed by the Coalition Government. There will be serious consequences for our welfare system if we do not implement this legislation.

“The Executive has tackled many of these issues and have achieved a number of concessions. They have taken this issue as far they can. It is now up to the Social Development Minister to bring forward the legislation and to work with the Committee to take this legislation over the line.

“The Alliance Party together with the other Parties in the Committee will then closely scrutinise the legislation and endeavour to find further amendments and refinements in order to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *