Sinn Féin urges Council to back welfare top-ups

Sinn Féin Waterside Councillor Christopher Jackson is to bring a motion before Derry City and Strabane District Council’s monthly meeting this Thursday calling for welfare top-up payments to be continued beyond the planned end date in March 2020.

Councillor Jackson said: “In the face of an ongoing Tory attack on the welfare system and those most in need, it is vital that funding to offset these cuts continues.

“Almost £600 million in funding for the current welfare mitigation package was secured as part of the Fresh Start Agreement and has protected thousands of families here from the full extent of the Tory cuts agenda.

“The funding for that mitigation package is due to come to an end in March 2020 and Sinn Féin has been clear in urging all parties and the department to ensure that a new package is put in place.

“Just this month we had the warning from Professor Eileen Evason, who chaired the panel which designed these mitigations, who said the most vulnerable are facing a toxic combination of the end of the top-ups and the roll out of Universal Credit by the British Government.

“I hope that all parties on the council support my motion to ensure funding for mitigations continues beyond March 2020.”

Motion –

That this council welcomes the range of reports recently published which highlight the serious risk of greater hardship for many within our community, if Welfare Mitigations do not continue beyond March 2020.

These reports include; Welfare Reform: Mitigations on a Cliff Edge. Cliff Edge Coalition NI NIAO: Welfare Reforms in NI. Calls on all parties to support the need to continue Welfare Mitigations beyond March 2020 and further; Calls on the DfC to take all steps necessary to ensure the Mitigations scheme will continue to help the most vulnerable in our community