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Welfare Reform Equality Committee welcomed - Maskey

21 November, 2012 - by Alex Maskey

Sinn Féin MLA and Chair of the Social Development Committee Alex Maskey has said that the establishment of  an ad hoc committee to examine the equality and human rights implications of the Welfare Reform bill is a way ensure that the bill receives the fullest and most robust scrutiny.

 Speaking today Mr Maskey said:

 "As Chairperson of the Social Development committee I gave a public assurance that the Welfare "Reform" Bill would receive maximum and robust scrutiny.

 “Following submissions from a wide range of groups, including the Human Rights and Equality Commissions,  all of whom raised the issue of whether the Welfare Reform Bill met with Equality and Human Rights legislation.

 “Faced with such compelling evidence the committee agreed to ask the Assembly to establish a special Ad-Hoc committee to have a detailed examination of the equality and human rights related concerns.

 “I welcome the fact that the Assembly today got behind the need for this committee to be established however it is telling that the DUP attempted to block this from happening.

 “In particular the Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has once again failed to recognise his own responsibility in this matter and did not support the committee's efforts to ensure maximum and robust scrutiny of this Bill in the manner it requires.

 “The establishment of such as committee will now underpin Sinn Féin’s and others commitment to  have this bill scutinised to the highest degree.

 “All of us, as MLA’s across political parties must ensure that the Welfare Reform Bill meets with  human rights standards and does not infringe on the rights and entitlements of those who we are elected locally to represent.”

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