Communities budget will reduce support for most vulnerable, says Armstrong

The budget allocated by the Department for Communities will reduce support for the most vulnerable in our society, Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said.

Communities Kellie Armstrong Budget

The Alliance Communities spokesperson was speaking after the Department announced its allocations for the forthcoming financial year. She said it would take support away from people who are homeless, people with disabilities, people needing to access addiction services and victims of domestic abuse.

“I appreciate the Department has attempted to limit the impact of cuts as much as they have but this budget will reduce support for the most vulnerable in our society,” said Ms Armstrong.

“It reduces the amount of money for new homes, meaning more people will not be able to access housing. It increases the amount of money being spent dealing with the homelessness crisis instead of investing in prevention measures. The Supporting People portion of the budget – used to help those with disabilities, care leaver, those with addictions or those fleeing domestic abuse – has been retained at the same level but that does not take into account the increase in the cost of living or rate of inflation.

“I will be meeting the Department’s Permanent Secretary later this week to question him on the budget position and I will be seeking clarification on what income-generating measures are being proposed to the NIO.

“I understand finances are tight across the board but we have a duty of care to the most vulnerable in our society. If we are to help them, build the necessary new homes or manage culture, arts and sport, then we need a working government. The DUP needs to end its boycott and stop adding to the pain being experienced by people here.”