Mullan reiterates the importance of benefit top-ups

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has reiterated the importance of continuing benefit top-up payments here to protect against the impact of the Tory welfare cuts agenda.

She was speaking after attending the Department for Communities Welfare Mitigation Session in Derry on Wednesday.

Karen Mullan commented: “I attended the Welfare Mitigation Session on Wednesday and heard of the importance of the unique top-up package which was delivered by Sinn Féin in the 2015 Fresh Start Agreement.

 “The recent Auditor General’s report revealed that nearly 40,000 tenants do not pay Bedroom Tax as a result of the mitigations funding. Many families are protected from the Benefit Cap and many others have benefited from a range of other supplementary payments, reducing the hardship caused by British Tory cuts to the welfare system.

“Sinn Féin has already called upon the department to start work towards extending the mitigation package beyond March 2020 and, as part of this session, it was good to hear the thoughts from advice organisations who are also dealing with these issues on a daily basis.

“The need for further mitigations is clear to be seen, it is vital that we continue to oppose the British Government’s austerity policy while also providing as much financial support as possible to those affected.”