SDLP Downpatrick Councillor Colin McGrath has said the Evason Report has put egg on the faces of DUP and Sinn Fein.
Cllr McGrath said: “Last year Sinn Fein joined the SDLP in opposing Welfare Reform, claiming they would only sign up to changes if no existing or future claimant would lose out. The report by Professor Eileen Evason published yesterday details that most claimants will only be protected for a year.
“Sinn Fein’s attempt to fool all the people all the time is becoming desperate. They said anyone who lost out on Universal Credit would be fully protected. Eileen Evason confirms that for most this will be for a year only.
“By surrendering welfare reform powers to London they signed up to a benefit freeze for four years with loss of welfare income totalling hundreds of millions of pounds to people in the north.
“When a self-proclaimed Irish Republican party like Sinn Fein handed welfare back to London in November, their Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness called it a technicality in January.
“Of course the SDLP welcomes the Evason report. SDLP proposals that Sinn Fein and the DUP voted down in the Assembly are now elements in the Evason recommendations. This includes no-one suffering financial loss under the bedroom tax, protections for people on benefits with conflict-related injuries and more availability of independent welfare advice. Egg is splashed all over the DUP and Sinn Fein faces and people can see it.”