Published on 27 March 2013 10:30 AM
The Department for Social Development has today published the second in a series of reports which show the potential impact of Welfare Reform on local people.
The research is based on the latest available data from the UK wide tax and benefits system and examines for the first time how the proposed benefit changes will impact people in Northern Ireland.
The reports published today look specifically at the introduction of size restrictions in the social housing sector, changes to the rules for receiving Employment and Support Allowance and the introduction of Personal Independence Payment.
Commenting on the reports, Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland, said: “The development and publication of these reports is important in that it informs our understanding of the potential impact of the different Welfare Reform proposals within the Northern Ireland context.
“As I have previously said I have concerns about the local impact of some of these changes and this concern would appear to be borne out by some of the information in these reports.
“I am continuing to work with Executive Colleagues and Ministers in Westminster to ensure that the particular needs of people here are taken into account.”
The Northern Ireland Omnibus Survey January 2013 Social Security Agency module, comprising questions relating to Welfare Reform, was also published today alongside the impact reports. The Northern Ireland Omnibus survey captures a snapshot of the views and attitudes of the population of Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the findings, the Minister said: “The report shows that friends or relatives are the first point of contact for most people seeking help to understanding information about benefits or tax credits. This finding reinforces the importance of informing the public about the proposed changes.”
Impact reports on the introduction of size restrictions within the social housing sector, changes to the rules for receiving Employment and Support Allowance and the introduction of Personal Independence Payment are now available at: www.dsdni.gov.uk/welfare-reform-publications.htm
The Northern Ireland Omnibus Survey January 2013 report is available at: www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/stats_and_research/asu-other-research.htm