The Society of St Vincent de Paul in Northern Ireland is “gravely concerned” at the impact of continuing cuts in public spending on those already having difficulty making ends meet.
The SVP’s Northern Regional President, Aidan Crawford, said: “We in the SVP deal on an ongoing basis with people on benefits who are already finding difficulty in making ends meet, either because of inadequacy of support or because the benefits have been suspended while cases are reviewed.
“We are aware, too, of an already high level of uncertainty and anxiety among these people about the future as a result of the Assembly’s continued indecision on implementing earlier Westminster reforms that are expected to have an impact on the worse-off in our society.”
The anticipated impact of the Government’s latest £12billion further cuts over the next five years can only add to this anxiety, the Society believes.
“Analysts at IFS have calculated that, regrettably, low-paid workers will actually be worse off as a result of the changes announced by the Chancellor,” Mr Crawford added.
The Society issued an appeal to politicians to ensure that an adequate living wage and working conditions are in place and that the vulnerable in society are protected from austerity.