Cllr Sara Duncan, who is a volunteer with the citizens advice bureau, said: “I am glad that more people and families on low incomes in Northern Ireland are getting assistance than last year. These figures are encouraging; however, the government must not lose focus in combating poverty.
“The figures have been boosted by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau’s (CAB) efforts. They have been particularly active in ensuring everyone eligible claims pension credit, and in explaining how pension credit entitles the recipient to other worthwhile benefits.”
“It is extremely important that benefits reach the people who really need them. These statistics are positive but the government must not be complacent in their efforts to eradicate poverty.
“We are now in the middle of winter, and this is the time when people on low incomes suffer most. The government must bear in mind that improvements can always be made to ensure that adequate benefits reach those who need them most.”