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.
The Department of Finance and Personnel is consulting on options to replace the current rate rebates scheme in the long-term. NICVA hosted an event on 19 January 2015 for representatives from the voluntary and community sector.
The Heenan-Anderson Commission has been set up to look at the causes of the current levels of economic marginalization and deprivation in Northern Ireland.
At NICVA's recent conference the debate around welfare reform focused on the people here who will be most affected by the reforms and the plans that need to be made to ensure they do not fall further into poverty.
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.