inn Féin MLA Karen Mullan facilitated meeting with the Independent Advice Services across Derry City to discuss the impact Universal Credit and further Tory austerity will have on our community.
Karen Mullan said:
“I facilitated a meeting with the various advice services who quite rightly raised concern regarding the impact that the introduction of Universal Credit will have on people living in our communities.
“Amongst the concerns raised, was the five week delay for the first payment of Universal Credit, this will do little to prevent more people being driven into hardship.
“The serious flaws at the heart of Universal Credit still exist. It’s implementation and the five week wait should be stopped immediately.
“Another key concern raised was the process of demeaning claimants and ‘stressful’ assessments, which is appearing at the heart of the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) system. It’s increasing anxiety and making conditions significantly worse.
“The growth in Food Bank dependency witnessed in the last couple of years is a direct consequence of the Tory assault on living standards and their attack on public services and the welfare state witch is set to get worse with further cuts to come.
“Advice services provide vital support to people in receiving their full benefit entitlement and assisting the application process, cuts to advice service funding only adds to the extreme pressure already placed on advice workers. They need extra resource, not cut backs.
“The answer to ending the attacks on the most vulnerable in our society, is ending Tory/DUP austerity and their ideologically driven attacks on our public services.”