09 Dec 2021

Councillor Doyle: “A normal household can’t replace £20 a week like our well paid politicians"

Aontú Councillor for Ballyarnett, Emmet Doyle has accused the major parties at Stormont of “attempting to shadow box their way through the crisis being forced upon Universal Credit recipients.”

Monthly standard allowances from the British Government decreased on October 6. They are set to cut by £20 a week, which was granted to recipients in the wake of the pandemic. 
The standard universal credit allowance for a single person aged under 25 falls back from roughly £84.33 a week to £64.33. That's a drop of nearly 24%. 

For a couple, where either one of them is 25 or over, their allowance drops from £147.48 a week to roughly £127.48 - a fall of nearly 15%. 
Councillor Doyle has said it is clear that parties are not being honest with people, “Like so many other times before, the Stormont Executive has tiptoed around the issue that families in receipt of Universal credit will lose £20 per week due to cuts by the British Government. 

“Officials at a recent Finance Committee meeting made it perfectly clear that even if they wanted to protect people, a new system would have to be built which could take months. 
“All the parties know this and yet they continue to play politics with the situation. The SDLP are calling on the Sinn Fein Finance Minister to address the problem as if they aren’t in the Executive too. I have no doubt this game would continue if shoes were on different feet. 

“People deserve real leadership - a normal household can’t replace £20 a week like our well-paid politicians can. I ask those parties, what are you prepared to do? 

 “If you roll over and let this cut happen it won’t be forgotten, nor will the fact you played games with families’ income with one eye on an election.  

“If parties are serious about addressing this problem, then let them do what they have been unwilling to do for years, put people before their parties.” 

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