Region worst hit by welfare reforms set to lose an estimated £29m

  • Research has found that the Newtownabbey Borough Council area could lose up to £29m due to changes to welfare support.

    Research undertaken by Sheffield Hallam University has revealed that Northern Ireland will be the UK region worst hit by welfare reforms, meaning an average estimate will total £750m annually.

    It is estimated that within the Newtownabbey Borough Council area each working age adult will lose a total of £550 per annum, reports Newtownabbey Today.  Money Notes 2

    More in depth analysis reveals that people claiming benefits could lose £155 from incapacity benefits, £75 from Disability Living Allowance, £70 from Child Benefit, £100 from tax credits and £85 from the one per cent uprating of working age benefits.

    Manager of Newtownabbey Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB) Pat Hutchinson says she is ‘really concerned' at the potential impact of welfare changes on the area.

    She said: "This is going to have an extraordinary impact on Northern Ireland. It will affect all benefits as they are all going to go into universal credit. All of the claims for universal credit will have to be done online and the evidence shows that 70 per cent of people will need help with their applications. People here are very anxious about what is going to happen. It hasn't come in yet but they are already apprehensive as no-one knows how bad it is going to be. More people of working age from 16 to 64 will be affected. There will be a penalty if you make a mistake when filling in the forms and the CAB's workload could treble as more and more people turn to us. There is already more food and fuel poverty. I don't think people realise the impact it will have yet."

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