Groups Brief Assembly Committee on Proposed Welfare Reform

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 15 December 2011

Reference: SD 09/11/12

The proposed Welfare Reform Bill which is expected to come before the Assembly in the New Year was discussed today at the meeting of the Assembly Committee for Social Development. Two key groups, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Northern Ireland Welfare Reform Group both put their concerns before the Committee.

Speaking after the meeting, Committee Chairperson, Alex Maskey MLA, said: “The Committee for Social Development understands just how big an impact these proposed reforms will have on many people here. It is therefore crucial that we talk to the widest range of stakeholders so that their concerns can be reflected in our recommendations to the Department.

“If we are to minimise the negative impact of reforms the evidence of groups such as the ICTU and the Northern Ireland Welfare Reform Group are essential to help us to make informed decisions. It is clear that the concerns voiced today by these groups are shared by the Committee.

“It is therefore important that we work together with stakeholders as well as the Department to deliver a solution that is both equitable and viable. Our meeting today is the start of what I hope will be a process of continued engagement as we work our way through these major reforms.”

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