Marshalled List of Amendments

5 October 2012

Executive Business – Motions

Item 2:  Order Paper 91/11-15 – 9 October 2012 

Motion: Second Stage: Welfare Reform Bill (NIA 13/11-15)

That the Second Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill be agreed.

 [Minister for Social Development]

The Speaker has selected the following Amendment for debate.

Reasoned Amendment:

Proposed: Leave out all after ‘That’ and insert:

“the Second Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill be not agreed pending further consideration and adjustment to better reflect the specific circumstances, obligations and needs of our people; because, while recognising the need for a simplification of the benefit system and development of work incentives, the Bill’s proposals have their origins in austerity policies being pursued at Westminster which are targeted at the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in society and which clearly do not adequately address the specific circumstances and needs of our people and will create significant hardship and difficulties for many individuals and families living in socially disadvantaged unionist and nationalist communities; in addition, the payment proposals of Universal Credit:

(a)        do not reflect the specifics of our labour market and the prevalence of the weekly wage;

(b)        fail to take account of an established pattern of direct payments to landlords; and

(c)        in proposing a single household payment, fail to meet specific statutory equality obligations which require social policy to mitigate any adverse impact on named groups, including women and children;

and furthermore the Bill fails to take account of:

(i)         the impact of increased punitive measures on jobseekers in a society emerging from conflict and recovering from a legacy of discrimination in employment;

(ii)        the fact that there is currently no statutory duty to provide affordable childcare, yet the Bill increases conditionality for lone parents;

(iii)       the existing housing stock and the legacy of segregated housing, in relation to the introduction of an under-occupancy penalty;

(iv)       the high rate of error in the Work Capability Assessment which is creating hardship and uncertainty amongst many sick and disabled people who are being wrongly declared fit for work; and

(v)        the anomaly of a benefit cap that was primarily devised to address extortionate housing costs in London but has discriminatory consequences for families here with more than the average number of children.

[Mr M Brady]
[Mr F McCann]




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