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Prorogation must not put welfare payments at risk

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has warned that suspension of Parliament must not put at risk the extension of welfare mitigations in Northern Ireland.

The South Belfast MLA said: “The stress and anxiety being caused by the potential of the ‘cliff edge’ end to welfare mitigation payments in March is a burden no one should have to carry. Yet again people are being failed by political gridlock, with a direct impact on livelihoods and well-being.

 

“In line with a recent Parliamentary inquiry, we need to see legislation in place urgently to extend welfare mitigation payments by at least four years, ensure the option of split payments is properly advertised, an end to the two-child limit with appropriate reimbursement, and more effective auditing of measures designed to address poverty and marginalisation.

 

“I am convinced that the Secretary of State wants to bring forward legislation to this effect, but has now been unnecessarily delayed by the suspension of Parliament called for by the Prime Minister with the support of the DUP. People in Northern Ireland will now suffer weeks of further uncertainty to satisfy their petty games. It is unacceptable for a Prime Minister to treat people so callously.

 

“My party colleagues and I will continue to lobby the Secretary of State on this issue to remove the stress and anxiety for thousands of people in Northern Ireland, and ensure that Northern Ireland’s particular circumstances continue to be reflected fairly.”