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 Naomi Long Naomi Long Alliance 1:00 pm, 16th January 2017

I thank the Member for giving way, and I apologise to Carál Ní Chuilín for not giving way to her earlier, which I ought to have done. Will the Member not agree with me that one of the reasons we are in the fix we are in today is because the renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme, which is worth a billion pounds over 20 years, broke parity with Westminster without being properly budgeted and therefore plunged us into the crisis we are in, with £20 million a year of costs? Had we done what you are suggesting, where one element of welfare, disability living allowance (DLA), on its own has exceeded a billion pounds per year, and broken parity, we would have bankrupted Northern Ireland almost overnight. These mitigation measures were the best way of addressing the problem.