SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan has slammed a suggestion that the British Government could renege on its commitment to uprate benefits in line with inflation as a ‘malign betrayal’ of vulnerable people as the cost of living crisis deepens.
The West Tyrone MLA has asked Sinn Féin Minister Deirdre Hargey to produce data on the impact that linking benefit increases to earnings growth rather than inflation would have on households across the North as new reports from the Resolution Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggest thousands could be pushed further into poverty.
Daniel McCrossan MLA said:
“This Tory government has clearly prioritised tax cuts for the super-rich and it intends to balance the books on the backs of those least able to pay with cuts to support for working families and vulnerable households. It’s is a malign betrayal of the people who will suffer the most from soaring inflation and the increasingly unaffordable cost of food, fuel and energy.
“The mooted plan to link benefit uprating to earnings growth rather than inflation will result in a real-terms cut to the incomes of people on in-work and working-age social security. New research from the Resolution Foundation suggests that this policy shift could result in cuts of up to £1,000 per year to the income of working parents. While the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has outlined that in many constituencies in Northern Ireland, the changes would impact as many as half of all families. This is a direct threat to the security and survival of far too many families and households here.
“This is a malign betrayal of people who were promised in April that uprating would catch up with inflation. I have asked Sinn Féin Minister Deirdre Hargey to urgently produce data on the impact these proposed changes would have on families in our communities. Without a devolved government, we are being left at the mercy of a London Government that prioritises the richest 1% at the expense of everyone else. This cannot continue, for people in communities across Northern Ireland enough is enough.”