Put human rights at the heart of the benefits system

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Welfare reform is causing increasing hardship and suffering in Northern Ireland.

We have endured years of conscious cruelty where vulnerable people are forced into assessments by profit making private companies.

Medical evidence is routinely ignored and financial sanctions are imposed on thousands of families every month.

Now, as Universal Credit is rolled out families are reporting:

  • Going without money for two months or more;
  • Going into debt and rent arrears;
  • Needing anti-depressants as a result of decisions made about their benefits.

So much of this suffering can be stopped by implementing a human rights checklist (the People’s Proposal) for all decision-makers working in the social security system.

This could be implemented immediately by Department for Communities Permanent Secretary, Tracy Meharg.

So far The Permanent Secretary has refused to do this, despite repeated requests.

All 11 councils and every trade union have backed our call for a human rights checklist for social security decision makers.

One unelected civil servant is blocking progress.

Enough is enough.

Please take this action to tell the Permanent Secretary to end the avoidable suffering of thousands of citizens, and implement our #PeoplesProposal human rights checklist.