Cliff Edge Coalition, a network of 107 organisations from across the charity, voluntary and third sectors, welcomes the Communities Minister’s announcement to legislate to extend existing welfare reform mitigations.
Speaking on behalf of the Cliff Edge Coalition, Andy McClenaghan from the British Association of Social Workers said:
“The current mitigation package provides protection to thousands of households across Northern Ireland from some of the most severe aspects of the Westminster Government’s welfare reform agenda. While the Coalition would have liked to have seen the extension of the measures on a permanent basis, the legislation proposed by Minister Hargey will, for the next three years, deliver vital support for households that receive a mitigation payment.”
This legislation will protect over 37,000 households impacted by the bedroom tax from an average loss of £50 per month, as well as protecting over 1,800 families with children impacted by the benefit cap from an average loss of £221 per month.
Mr McClenaghan finished by saying:
“The extension of the mitigations provides much-needed breathing space for hard-pressed families. However, if nothing else changes, we will face another cliff edge in three years’ time. The Cliff Edge Coalition calls, therefore, on all political parties to commit to placing the mitigations package on a long-term footing during the next Assembly mandate. This is crucial to protect thousands of individuals, families and children across Northern Ireland from poverty.”