Green Party MLA Rachel Woods has welcomed the Executive’s decision to extended welfare mitigation in Northern Ireland, but raised concerns that the proposals do not go far enough.
The North Down MLA said: “I am glad that the five party Executive has finally agreed to extend welfare mitigation measures to close the loophole. These should have come forward much sooner, as this legislation was an agreed part of the New Decade, New Approach almost two years ago.
“The apparent delays caused by these measures being blocked from the Executive agenda nearly 40 times were unacceptable, and caused unnecessary uncertainty. It’s yet another example of the Executive parties prioritising political squabbling over delivering for the people of Northern Ireland.
“However, today’s agreement represents a missed opportunity. The fact that the current proposals will only last for three years means that they fail to provide the long-term certainty the people of Northern Ireland deserve. This creates the risk of yet another ‘cliff-edge’ for vulnerable people.
“For years, the Green Party NI has called for the closure of the loopholes and to ensure that cruel Tory policies that have caused serious hardship to people in Northern Ireland are mitigated against. I wish to commend and thank all those who have tirelessly campaigned on these payments, especially the Close the Loophole campaign group.”
Media contact: Jack O'Dwyer-Henry (07504410770)