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More Focus Needs to be Put Into Unclaimed Benefits

2 September, 2011 - by Mickey Brady

Sinn Féin MLA Mickey Brady has called on Nelson McCausland to put the same effort into distributing unpaid benefit as he does into penalising the most deprived in our society.

Mr Brady stated,

“There is up to £350 million of unpaid benefits in the North and more needs to be done to ensure that people are getting their entitlement before we start to push individuals and families into severe debt by stopping their entire benefits.

“It would be more beneficial for the DHSS to become more efficient and ensure that people on benefit get their full entitlement and help those on benefit back to work through help and retraining.

“The stereotype of people living a life of luxury on benefits is untrue. More and more people are finding it impossible to live on benefits as the cost of living has risen drastically over the past few years and while I accept that there are a few who fiddle the system the vast majority of people on benefits do not wish to be there and would accept employment in the morning.

“Rather than penalise people on benefits it would be more prudent to give more opportunities to people on how they could subsidise their benefit while finding their way back into work.

“Mr McCausland needs to state whether he is purely on a cost cutting exercise or is he concerned about some of the most disadvantaged in our society getting proper benefit.

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