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Social Development Minister must outline his concerns on Welfare Reform Bill

5 November, 2012 - by Alex Maskey

Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey has said that the Minister for Social Development Nelson McCausland should advise the Social Development Committee what changes he is seeking to the Welfare Reform Bill.

 Mr. Maskey said,

 “Over the past few weeks we have had over 60 submissions from various groups including Church leaders, Trade Unions, Community and Voluntary sector and disability groups.

 “Each and everyone of them have raised a wide range of concerns and not one supported this Bill as it stands.

“As we now move further into consideration of the bill we will continue to robustly scrutinise and intensively consult on this bill as we have promised we would do.

 “The Minister is on record as stating that he wouldn’t personally bring this Bill forward and stated he is in discussion with the British Government to bring changes to the Bill.  I am now calling on the Minister to outline what parts of the Bill he is seeking to amend in order to assist our committee consideration of the Bill.

 “The recent weeks have shown the extensive opposition to key elements of this Bill and clearly it is the responsibility of all party’s to address these concerns.

 “I will be raising these matters at the Committee tomorrow when the Department of Social Development is before it.”

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