Sinn Féin Councillors Paul Fleming and Eric McGinley attended a protest organised by Galliagh Women’s Group/Integrated Advice Service outside the Medical Capability Assessment Centre, at Timber Quay on the Strand Road this week.
The protest was over on-going changes to sickness and disability benefits. Dove House and the Pink Ladies supported the event.
Speaking after attending the protest Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Fleming said:
“Sinn Féin has warned from the outset about the problems the introduction of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) would create for people in Derry on Employment and Support Allowance and Incapacity Benefit. We highlighted fears over sick and disabled people with long term debilitating illness having to be reassessed and the impact that would have on them, the financial cost of administrating this new benefit and the probability of high rates of appeals.”
Colr. Fleming added: “In Derry and across the north we are seeing already a high number of appeals being lodged by those turned down for the benefit and a very high number of those appeals have been successful. In response to a recent question put to the Minister of Social Development it was revealed that it cost £5.97 million to review just over 17,000 cases that works out at an average of £350 per appeal.”