Steps need to be taken to prevent 'low income' crisis developing, says Armstrong

Steps need to be taken to prevent the cost of living crisis running into a ‘low-income’ crisis, Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said.

Kellie Armstrong Welfare Benefits

The Strangford MLA was speaking after meeting Les Allamby, who was Chair of the independent advisory panel which recently completed a review of the Department for Communities’ welfare mitigation measures. Ms Armstrong said the panel’s recommendations could help stop further financial crises occurring down the line.

“We are in the midst of a cost of living crisis the likes of which none of us have ever experienced,” she said.

“However, care needs to be taken to prevent that turning into another financial crisis when we finally emerge, namely a longer low-income crisis for those earning just too much to not receive the current slate of benefits.

“The recommendations put forward by Les Allamby and the panel provide a framework of support which targets help for individuals and families on the lowest incomes across Northern Ireland. Alliance is working on solutions to provide support to help to lift citizens out of poverty.

“While there is no Executive to commit to delivering on the welfare mitigations review recommendations, there is scope to develop the proposals and to gain Northern Ireland-specific, cross-party support.

“Alliance will continue to work to deliver solutions so when an Executive is functional, we have actions to make a difference and help prevent a low-income crisis developing.”