Vote Backs UK's Welfare Reform

Public Finance, November 2012 | Go to article overview

Vote Backs UK's Welfare Reform


Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly have backed the UK government's welfarereform plans by 60 votes to 42.

Sinn Féin had tabled an amendment to postpone the changes, which will see a range of disability, housing and unemployment benefits cut and replaced with the single Universal Credit. The party wanted more time to negotiate flexibilities over their introduction with Westminster.

But Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland, a Democratic Unionist Party member, said that while he did not agree with all aspects of the reforms, failure to deliver them could see Northern Ireland miss out on vital Treasury funding for schools, hospitals and the police.

"When Universal Credit begins, there will be an opportunity to increase the levels of benefit paid into Northern Ireland that will provide the additional income,' he told the Assembly. …

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