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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

New Decade New Approach Deal commits to review and extend welfare mitigations

As co-conveners of the Cliff Edge Coalition NI, Housing Rights strongly welcomes the commitment in the New Decade New Approach deal to review and extend welfare mitigations beyond March 2020 to protect low-income households from the full impact of Welfare Reform.

The deal includes the following commitments with regards to welfare mitigations:

  • The Executive will extend existing welfare mitigation measures beyond March 2020, when they are currently due to expire (page 9).
  • A review of welfare mitigation measures will be taken forward as a priority, with any agreed measures in place before March 2020 (page 40)

In 2015 when the mitigations were agreed, the immediate challenges were protecting people from the impact of the ‘bedroom tax’, the benefit cap and the transition from DLA to PIP. The loss of these protections would have forced thousands of individuals and families into further into financial hardship. The Cliff Edge Coalition therefore strongly welcome the commitment in the New Decade New Approach deal to extending these crucial protections beyond March 2020 when they were due to end.

In the years since the mitigations package was introduced, we have also had new and growing challenges such as the introduction of Universal Credit, including the two-child limit, as well as cuts to housing benefits in the private rented sector. With just over 80 days remaining, the Cliff Edge Coalition looks forward to working with Department for Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, as well as other members of the incoming Executive, Assembly, Committees and party representatives in their review of welfare mitigations to ensure the mitigations are not only extended but also strengthened to address these new challenges.

 

Tagged In

Welfare Reform, Policy