Paisley Jnr. alarmed at potential cuts

Paisley Jnr. alarmed at potential cuts

NORTH Antrim MP, Ian Paisley Jnr. has warned the government not to embark down a road that will see cuts in benefits to the most vulnerable.

He was speaking in a debate in Parliament regarding disability living allowance and welfare reform.

Mr. Paisley said: "There is a lack of knowledge about the extent of claimants in northern ireland. Approximately 10% of the population receive DLA. That's 182423 people. In my own constituency this effects 12% of constituents or almost 14000 people.

"These people have been unfairly and cruelly characterised by some government spokesmen and elements of the press as feckless, work shy or fraudulent when in fact they are incapacitated and unable to work - in fact many are unable to walk without being in pain. A considerable amount are in residential care for the rest of their lives."

He further argued:"Housing benefit too is under attack from the government. In North Antrim 7458 people or 8% live on housing benefit. Without this benefit many would be homeless. Government needs to carefully weigh up welfare reform requirements against party political point scoring. We need a society that is marked by compassion for the vulnerable where needs come before means and quality of life is added to the years of life," he said.