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

Well, then, exercise them.

The fact is that they do not go to Westminster, and now they have decided that they do not want to go to the Executive in Stormont. The power to protect the most vulnerable people in Northern Ireland will be undermined by not having a functioning Government here in order to put in place measures such as the mitigations of the bedroom tax. Devolution can be used for the benefit of the people, particularly vulnerable people. It is unfortunate, therefore, that others have decided that they want to abstain from using the power available to them. That is their choice — we live in a democracy, and they are free to do so — but let us also not forget that, because of their posturing over welfare reform, £174 million in two years was lost to the people of Northern Ireland. That money could have been spent —