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

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 1:00 pm on 16th January 2017.

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Photo of George Robinson George Robinson DUP 1:00 pm, 16th January 2017

I welcome the regulations, as they ensure that the most vulnerable in society will have the protection that was promised to them. The welfare reform mitigation group did an excellent job of highlighting where greater help was required. That was especially so for housing benefit or, as it is popularly known, bedroom tax.

It is important that we all note that the party that has created the political instability today could have cost the people who require the greatest help this essential benefit, the total cost of which will be around £91 million. I also note that it is a DUP Minister who has ensured that the legislation is brought today so that no one is adversely impacted on by the bedroom tax.

My constituency has high deprivation. I am well aware of how devastating the changes to housing benefit would have been had Minister Givan not taken the action that he has taken to protect Northern Ireland and the most vulnerable. Many people will be relieved that the Minister has taken this brave step. I hope that all Members will support the Housing Benefit (Welfare Supplementary Payment) Regulations 2017, even those who have jeopardised their very existence.