The proposed welfare reforms have been widely described as the most radical shake up of the social security system in over 40 years. The aim of the reforms and subsequent Bill is to simplify the benefits system, improve work incentives to encourage claimants to move from benefits to work and reduce administration costs. However, the implementation of the changes will impact upon a significant percentage of the working age population in Northern Ireland.
Earlier this week NICVA issued a statement on Welfare Reform.
NICVA is calling for the Northern Ireland Executive to agree its position on the Welfare Reform Bill and have it tabled in the Assembly for a full open debate.
Following a meeting with DSD Minister Nelson McCausland to discuss the recent report which showed that Northern Ireland is set to be hit harder by welfare reform than any other part of the UK, NICVA has written to OFMdFM to request an update.
As part of the welfare reform agenda changes will be made to the Rates Rebate Scheme in Northern Ireland. This will become an important issue for the voluntary and community sector as the reality of the welfare reform changes becomes clear.