Job is ‘best form of welfare’, says Ross

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East Antrim DUP MLA Alastair Ross has said that the latest row over welfare reform is an indication that some parties are “taking their eye off the bigger prize of transforming the Northern Ireland economy”.

In a statement, Mr Ross said that the latest “Sinn Fein -inspired crisis will result in everyone in society losing out”.

He added: “The Welfare State is an important safety net for those in society who are unable to work, or find themselves in difficult financial circumstances.

“But the current cost of welfare is not sustainable in the longer term and Government needs to reform the system to make it fit for purpose.

“The majority of people in Northern Ireland would have felt optimistic that the political parties here were seemingly able to come to an agreement over Christmas on welfare reform, and that we were able to mitigate against the worst aspects of the reforms making Northern Ireland the envy of other regions of the UK.

“This week, however, all that optimism has disappeared following the latest Sinn Fein-inspired ‘crisis’ at Stormont.

“Rather than getting cold feet and asking for yet more money for welfare, political parties should be doing all they can to eradicate the need in the first place. It’s been said before, but having a job really is the best form of welfare.”