The spiralling cost of  welfare including DLA payments in Northern Ireland is “depriving vulnerable people of healthcare and other vital services”, according to the Conservatives’ prospective Assembly candidate for North Down, Frank Shivers. 

“It has emerged that the cost of Disability Living Allowance has risen by more than £200 million over the past five years and we’re now paying DLA to 21,700 more claimants”, Frank explained.   

“Because the Executive parties at Stormont have failed to reform welfare, that means less money for the NHS, less money for care in the community, less money for child-care for hard-working families and less money for all kinds of important public services.  We’re actually damaging some of the most vulnerable people in society, by refusing to implement reform.” 

“This year, preserving a failing welfare system is taking millions of pounds per month out of Northern Ireland’s budget, which we simply cannot afford.  Meanwhile, 100,000 people here are actually worse off because reform hasn’t happened, as their benefits are set to rise under the new system.   

The opponents of welfare reform have been deeply dishonest.  They claim they care about the most vulnerable, but actually they are depriving them of vital care and vital services, to protect outrageous DLA costs which have spiralled out of control.”