Belfast Telegraph

Givan must work harder to stop bedroom tax introduction: SF Finance Minister Mairtin O Muilleoir

Finance Minister Mairtin O Muilleoir has said Communities Minster Paul Givan must work harder to stop the so-called bedroom tax being introduced.

Thousands of homes in Northern Ireland face potential cut in benefits as funding agreed to soften the blow of welfare reform has not been put in place.

Paul Givan said he needed Executive backing to release £24m set aside for this year. He told the Belfast Telegraph: “Neither the DUP nor Sinn Fein wanted the bedroom tax but, by Sinn Fein’s actions, it’s now on the cards.”

More: Welfare claimants, schools and hospitals to pay price of Northern Ireland's political meltdown

Should the measures to prevent Northern Ireland homes bearing the burnt of the reforms not be put in place, homeowners could be worse off by an average of £20 a week.

Responding to Mr Givan, the Finance Minister said the necessary measures should have been in place before Christmas.

He told the BBC: "I would say to him 'do your homework', you should have had this work done before Christmas you haven't

"We are where we are, get back and explore don't tell me there is only a one percent solution.

"Officials believe creativity and determination to get it sorted rather than use it as a political ploy ahead of an election."

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