Council to set up welfare taskforce

A taskforce is to be set up to monitor welfare reform despite cross words being exchanged by councillors who continue to argue over the roll-out of Universal Credit (UC).

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 12:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:52 pm
Headquarters of Derry City & Strabane District Council on the Strand Road.

Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Health & Community Committee approved the establishment of the body last week, although the establishment of the taskforce will now have to to be rubber-stamped by Full Council next week. Its directorate will comprise five councillors and representatives of relevant statutory and voluntary organisations.

Sinn Féin Colr. Eric McGinley backed the move and referenced the Audit Office’s recently finding that but for £585 million in mitigations negotiated through the Fresh Start Agreement welfare reform’s impact would have been even worse.

But Independent Darren O’Reilly said DC&SDC should not be seeking to mitigate welfare reform, rather to oppose it. Independent Paul Gallagher described it as a “taskforce for slow learners”.