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Alternative action needed on welfare reform

JOHN Simpson's views on the Welfare Reform Bill (Business Telegraph, April 15) will be of no comfort to people depending on benefits to meet their daily expenses.

He attempts to downplay the impact of welfare cuts by attacking a recent report by Nicva that shows welfare reforms will take £750m a year out of the economy here.

He recently criticised damning research by Christina Beatty and Steve Fothergill, professors at Sheffield Hallam University with extensive record of research and publication on the benefits system.

He has claimed welfare reform is "not expected to lead to significant cuts" and that "implementing welfare reform would protect Northern Ireland citizens".

But Mr Simpson's view is at odds with the reality for people on benefits. Beatty and Fothergill's research indicates that the tripling (to 900,000) in the number of people using food banks is directly related to benefit cuts and poverty wages.

This is at a time when the super-rich are getting richer, with the number of millionaires across Britain almost doubling in just two years (according to the latest HMRC figures).

The Welfare Reform Bill must be opposed in its entirety and an alternative campaign for Government investment into real job creation and aggressive taxation of big business and the rich must be built.

PAT LAWLOR

Socialist Party

Belfast Telegraph

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