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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Inquiry into welfare policy in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Affairs and Work and Pensions Committee have announced a joint inquiry into welfare policy in Northern Ireland. This inquiry will follow the passage of the NI Budget Act and the upcoming end of the welfare reform mitigation package in March 2020.

Focus of the enquiry

The inquiry will consider

Amongst the Universal Credit specific issues which the inquiry will consider, are issues surrounding housing arrears and deductions. 

Inquiry terms of reference

The inquiry would like individuals, groups and organisations to respond to some or all of the following questions:

  • What has been the impact of the NI Executive social security 'mitigation package'?
  • What would be the likely effects of the mitigation package coming to an end in 2020?
  • What, if anything, should replace the mitigation package from 2020?
  • What are the effects of having higher levels of welfare entitlement in Northern Ireland? Is it feasible for Northern Ireland to have differing levels of welfare entitlement in the long term?
  • How well is Universal Credit working in Northern Ireland? Are there issues with Universal Credit that are specific to Northern Ireland compared to the rest of the UK?
  • Do people in Northern Ireland benefit from the flexibility to have Universal Credit paid at a different frequency or with split payments?
  • What is the impact of the two-child limit on families in Northern Ireland?
  • Do social housing tenants in Northern Ireland (including NIHE tenants) regularly experience rent arrears? What are the reasons for this? What level of deductions do tenants face to pay back arrears?

Written responses can be submitted online by Friday 24 May 2019.

Housing Rights is eager to share its views on these important issues and we encourage other organisations to submit their own responses so the impact of welfare reforms on people living in Northern Ireland is clearly understood by Westminster. 


Tagged In

Welfare Reform, Policy

This article was written on 11 April 2019. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.