Miliband: Stormont parties must carry on with welfare reform…

It’s well worth watching Stephen Walker’s interview with Ed Miliband in Manchester for last night’s Newsline. It’s not good news for Sinn Fein who’ve been counting Macawberlike for something to turn up with regard to their hold out on the negotiated welfare reform deal:

“The Labour leader said his party would abolish what he calls the “bedroom tax”, but said Stormont parties must carry on with welfare reform.”

Bum. Of course that that may not be what Sinn Fein was banking. Turning Northern Ireland into a basket case, is Newton Emerson’s best guess.

I’d prefer to hear someone from the party explain to us roughly how they plan to to stop these vicious cuts without the help of the Westminster Opposition party?

(H/T Kate for the IN scans)

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  • Morpheus

    “…Universal credit was expected to be rolled out by the end of 2017. As of last month, 11,070 households were receiving universal credit. The policy in GB is clearly failing, and I see nothing to reinforce the view that it will do anything other than fail here. DWP is 986,740 short of the original target of moving one million people to universal credit by April. In fact, Iain Duncan Smith also missed his own revised and much downgraded target of 184,000. Given that there are currently 11,000 claimants, welfare reform is not working well there either. There are massive flaws, not least the fact that the male to female ratio of claimants is 7:3, with the vast majority of claims being from unemployed people under 25 — the easiest demographic to separate. Considering that universal credit is estimated to cost the taxpayer £12·8 billion, if progress is not made soon, the cost of this will be over £1·1 million for every person currently claiming it. The demographic that will be the most seriously affected is not the scroungers, even though they do not really exist, or the unemployed; it is low-paid working families with children. On the day that I sat on this seat and listened to a debate about how this was about making work pay, there were 67,253 people in receipt of unemployment benefit and 4,700 available jobs. It does not take you to be a mathematician to work out the odds on that.”

    M. Copeland: UUP

    “New figures now show that 329,000 of the 529,000 applicants waiting for personal independent payment claims are still waiting to be assessed and that waiting time has increased substantially….Nearly 800,000 people live in poverty in the North. I am sure that every Member can agree that that is a disturbing and totally unacceptable statistic. The cuts would only exacerbate the situation and hit households that are already struggling. Of the 400 government districts, three of Northern Ireland’s 26 are in the top four positions, and 11 are in the top 50. That is largely due to the prevalence of mental ill health and social deprivation that the conflict left in our society. In my constituency, there is an estimated loss of £670 per working-age adult in Craigavon. In Banbridge, it is £560. In total, as the excellent report by NICVA and others suggests, £750 million would be lost to the Northern Ireland economy. There is no aspect of life that the cuts would not touch: housing, health, income or childcare. We have a higher proportion of disability living allowance (DLA) recipients than England, Scotland and Wales, and they will be adversely affected by the personal independent payment. The infamous bedroom tax will adversely affect 33,000 people. Indeed, the social housing Minister said that 32,000 social housing tenants would potentially be affected by underoccupation restrictions.”

    D. Kelly, SDLP

    “I am horrified that sickness and disability claimants will be hit hardest under these proposed cuts. The 66,000 individuals adversely affected by the incapacity benefit reforms can expect to lose an average of almost £3,500 per year. The 67,000 individuals changing from DLA to personal independence payments (PIP) will lose out on an average of £2,100 per year.”

    M. Boyle, SF

    Yeah, that sounds like a system we need to get in place here pronto.

    Roll over SF, get your belly tickled like the DUP. Even though protesting is what they do best the people of Northern Ireland – Catholic, Protestant, atheist, old, young, disabled, able-bodied – are obviously not worth the bother

  • Interesting from Liam Clarke http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/debateni/blogs/liam-clarke/stormont-in-crsis-our-parties-must-work-together-to-save-the-assembly-30613949.html

    It is not that there is not enough money, it is that the Parties (the big two, or perhaps all collectively) have used what money they had foolishly, essentially to buy popularity. And when tough decisions come along, it is someone else’s fault. Except it is no-one’s fault but their own.

  • Michael Henry

    The Welfare cuts will be used to pay for another air war against those pesky Arabs -don’t support millionaire Tory’s with murderous intentions-