South Down MP Margaret Ritchie (SDLP) has said the UK Government’s admission that the Universal Credit programme will not meet the 2017 deadline is a stark warning for Northern Ireland.
Following the release of the government’s statement Ms Ritchie said: “Ian Duncan Smith has been caught trying to sneak out bad news about his Universal Credit plans. This announcement, which was hidden away within a written statement on the day of the Autumn Statement, shows that the UK Government’s plans are in disarray on what was meant to be their headline policy on welfare reform.
“It is clear that the roll out of Universal Credit in England is not going to plan as over 700,000 claimants will not be included by the 2017 deadline. I have previously asked the British Prime Minister and Secretary of State about this and along with party colleagues have made repeated warnings that the IT infrastructure will not be able to meet the demands of the new system.
“The SDLP will continue to fight against the implementation of these draconian and poorly thought out measures in the north of Ireland. The UK government’s complete ineptness in introducing the new system in England should act as a warning for us all,” added Ms Ritchie.]]>