NICVA welcomes changes to Welfare Reform

23 Oct 2012     Last updated: 20 Jun 2014

The changes made to the proposed Welfare Reform Bill, announced by Minister McCausland yesterday, have been welcomed by NICVA.

As part of a delegation from the voluntary and community sector, NICVA urged the Minister to review the Bill to make sure it met local needs. The major issues were the payment of housing benefit direct to landlords, the need to be able to split payments between two adults and, crucially, the need to make two smaller payments per month, rather than one single payment, to help people budget.

Seamus McAleavey, NICVA Chief Executive said:

“We welcome the changes the Minister outlined in his announcement yesterday.  We had focussed on the things the Minister had the power to do something about and I am glad to say that he has responded. Welfare reform is one of the most critical issues facing families in Northern Ireland and these changes are a positive step and a sign devolution is working.”

He continued:

“We also welcome the delay in implementing Universal Credit to 2014 meaning the necessary IT support can be developed and we will have the opportunity to learn from the roll out of Universal Credit in England.”

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