SDLP councillor Brian Heading is to propose Belfast City Council request a meeting with Capita after a report found the company had engaged in “systematic maladministration” and rejected legitimate benefit claims.
An investigation by the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) said the company’s practices in their administration of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) scheme had led to people missing out on money they were entitled to and delayed benefit claims.
Councillor Heading said:
“Following the recent NIPSO report into Capita and the charges made against them the SDLP tonight will be raising it at the monthly meeting of Belfast City Council. I will be asking the council to arrange a meeting with Capita so that we can put questions to them directly about the report. We will also be seeking a briefing from NIPSO on the report’s findings.
“Despite continued criticism of Capita and their practices the company has stuck its head in the sand. It cannot be business as usual for companies that treat people in a degrading and humiliating manner. We cannot continue to pay taxpayers’ money to companies like this when all we get in return is public scandal and misery for service users.
“Their handling of PIP has forced many vulnerable people in deprived areas further into poverty and this cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. The SDLP will always stand with people in need of support and there is a real need to see social justice on this particular issue.”