Maskey urges Department to respond to welfare report
Sinn Féin welfare spokesperson Alex Maskey has called on the Department of Communities to urgently respond to a recent Auditor’s report which hailed the multi-million welfare top-up package secured in the Fresh Start Agreement.
Commenting after meeting with the department’s senior management team, the West Belfast MLA said: “The Auditor’s report was a clear vindication of the £585 million top-up package that my party fought for in order to protect the most vulnerable from the Tory Welfare cuts agenda.
“His report painted a stark picture of what the alternative would have been, warning that without these protections we would be facing the same kind of increased hardship and foodbank use that is happening in Britain.
“I met with the Department to urge them to respond to the auditor’s report as quickly as possible. It is important that happens because the current mitigation package is due to end in 2020 so forward planning needs to take place now.
“From our perspective, the Sinn Féin position is unambiguous. We will continue to oppose the welfare cuts agenda in its entirety. It is clearly not fit for purpose and should be scrapped completely.
“Protecting the most vulnerable will remain our key objective, whether that is by mitigating it where possible or by unpicking the entire disastrous Tory welfare agenda.”