Housing Benefit (Welfare Supplementary Payment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 12:45 pm on 16th January 2017.

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Photo of Christopher Stalford Christopher Stalford DUP 12:45 pm, 16th January 2017

No.

One of the reasons I got involved in politics is that I come from a working-class community. I was born in Annadale and reared at the bottom of the Ravenhill Road. I can see communities that are in need, and I want to make a difference to help them. It is wrong that people should be fearful for their future. It is wrong that 34,000 people in Northern Ireland should have been facing the real prospect of the implementation of this tax on them. Mitigations were first negotiated way back by Nelson McCausland, when he was at DSD. Working constructively with others, we managed to put those mitigations in place. That was the right thing to do. It was right that Northern Ireland should have a tailored solution that protected vulnerable people from the introduction of the bedroom tax.

I listened to Carál Ní Chuilín's contribution. In it, she made a defence of Sinn Féin's policy of abstentionism — abstaining from going to Westminster. We have now moved from abstaining from being in Westminster to abstaining from exercising any power or control in Northern Ireland, because —