£500m in stealth cuts on its way under Welfare Reform Bill- Maskey
Speaking in the Assembly this morning Alex Maskey, Chairperson of the Department of Social Development Committee gave notice to members that the proposed British Govt Welfare Reform Bill will require detailed and robust scrutiny when presented to the Assembly as early as the autimn 2011.
Mr Maskey said
"The proposed "reform" of the benefits system is likely to be the most fundamental overhaul of the system since it's inception in 1948.
“Indeed the DSD committee has been informed by the department that the British government proposals to cut benefits will take an estimated £450m - £500m out of the local economy as well as causing severe financial hardship to those most vulnerable in our society.
“The general public is aware that the British government slashed the Executive budget by a massive and punitive £4 billion but they also needed to know that the proposed Welfare Reform bill will, in effect, represent stealth cuts of a further half a billion pounds.
“Members of the DSD Committee who will be responsible for processing the necessary legislation resulting from the Welfare Reform bill are acutely aware of the very negative impact of many of the cuts to benefits being proposed.
“Members are committed to highlighting the consequences of the Tory cuts and will process such legislation accordingly."