Sinn Féin seeks halt to bedroom tax during crisis
Sinn Féin has called on the government not to implement the so-called 'bedroom tax' in Northern Ireland after the crisis at Stormont threatened planned mitigation pay-outs.
Senior party figure Conor Murphy said no parties in the region wanted to see social housing residents lose out due to the policy of reducing benefits to those deemed to have spare rooms. His remarks came after a Stormont department confirmed that locally-devised support payments to around 34,000 householders could not be rolled out without the official endorsement of the trouble-hit Executive.
Otherwise known as the Social Sector Size Criteria, the government welfare reform on housing benefit will be introduced in Northern Ireland next month.
Extra money provided by Stormont to make up for cuts to the overall welfare budget at Westminster was a key plank in an earlier agreement to save power-sharing. It had been a central Sinn Féin demand.
But the looming implosion of the institutions following Martin McGuinness's resignation means the Executive is currently unable to meet to sign off the payments.