In relation to an article in the Derry Journal (Tuesday, March 15), Martina Anderson’s comments simply don’t make sense and reveal a sad lack of understanding.
London has proposed DLA reforms. They are consulting on their proposals but they exist neither in law nor in practice. How can I be funding new DLA assessment three years from now – when the shape and nature of changes to DLA hasn’t happened?
This reveals a serious lack of awareness of what is being proposed and demonstrates the weakness of Sinn Fein in government. If this is Martina Anderson’s level of understanding, heaven help us if Sinn Fein are doing welfare negotiations with London. And if this is the best that Sinn Fein can come up with, no wonder London Tories have been getting the better of them.
I am surprised that my Assembly colleague is seeking to stir up anxiety over this issue when she knows that I, and my Department, are doing all in our power to ensure that those people who rely on benefits in Derry and across Northern Ireland are fully protected.
Minister for Social Development