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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 Mark Durkan Mark Durkan Social Democratic and Labour Party 1:00 pm, 16th January 2017

I thank the Member for giving way. I certainly concur that the actions and words of both Ministers have heightened confusion and concern among many more people than the 34,000 who will, thankfully, now be protected. A lot of people out there, such as pensioners, are not included in that 34,000 because they are exempt, but they do not yet realise that they are exempt. The chaos and distress that this has caused have been understated. Does the Member agree with me — I think that I know the answer to this — that the best way to avoid the confusion and worry that this has caused would have been for the Assembly to remove clause 69 in its entirety from the Welfare Reform Bill? On both occasions that my party attempted to do so, 10 February 2016 and 24 February 2016, the only support was from the Member himself.