In December 2018, Advice NI, Housing Rights and the Law Centre NI launched a joint report which highlights the approaching 2020 ‘cliff edge’ when funding for the mitigation package agreed as part of the Fresh Start Agreement in 2015 is due to expire.
The report also identifies the impact if these protections were to cease and highlights further areas where protections are required post 2020.
Commenting on the report, Kevin Higgins at Advice NI said:
“We are hoping this report will initiate conversations across the sector and with political and government representatives about the approaching mitigations ‘cliff edge’. It is critical that urgent attention is brought to bear on these issues”
Ciara Fitzpatrick at Law Centre NI stated:
“As advice organisations our work shows us the continuing need for protection from the harshest elements of welfare reform. We are also mindful of new and significant upcoming challenges presented by the roll out of Universal Credit which will continue until 2023. Any new mitigation arrangements must take account of this.”
Kate McCauley at Housing Rights commented:
“We note the under spend in some of the previous mitigation arrangements and are calling for this money to be redirected to address the future impact of Universal Credit and measures such as the 2 child tax credit policy. Additionally, government support is required people on low incomes who are renting privately and who have been impacted by welfare reform.”