Sunday, 3 October 2010

Social Development Minister responds to Cameron's statement on welfare cuts

In response to David Cameron's comments on the cuts and welfare changes, the Minister for Social Development Alex Attwood said:I remain highly vigilant around welfare reform proposals. Simplifying benefits, positive help to get people into work and making work pay are principles that can make sense.

“As Minister, I will consider proposals, be blunt about what will not work, acknowledge what might and identify what are unjust cuts masquerading as reform.

“There are three concerns. First, will the high upfront costs of benefit change be paid out of upfront severe benefit reductions? 

“Second, will benefit changes just end as a blunt instrument hitting those in need, as has been the case with the Chancellor's emergency June budget?

“Third, will there be any acknowledgement of the conditions in Northern Ireland, where benefit changes to get people into work could end up as a dead end because of the lack of jobs given the recession here until 2012 at least?

“I shall continue to meet with London Ministers and robustly put the case for Northern Ireland.”

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