SDLP Social Justice Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has responded to the report from Advice NI, highlighting serious systemic failures affecting Universal Credit claimants, which is causing harm to people across the North.
Said the Foyle MLA: “This report is the latest in the long line of evidence that shows universal credit is causing significant distress to people across the North of Ireland.
“This is no surprise to the SDLP. We knew welfare reform would be harmful – that is why we voted against it when the DUP, Sinn Fein and Alliance supported its introduction in the North of Ireland.
“The Advice NI report shows that this brutal system is dehumanising the most vulnerable in our society and causing them harm.
“We must urgently extend the welfare mitigations and I welcome the Minister’s commitment to doing so – but that is not enough.
“We must strengthen the mitigations and provide real and tangible support to people across the North.”
“I will be writing to the Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey MLA to highlight the need to urgently strengthen the mitigations.
“It is crucial that any new mitigation package has in-built flexibility, to ensure it can meet the needs of people, in the face of an ever worsening Tory assault on the most vulnerable.”