Ulster Unionist Welfare spokesperson, Michael Copeland MLA has said that the Assembly must stand up together to highlight the failings of the reassessment process for Incapacity Benefit.
Speaking after the Ulster Unionist amendment on the motion was given unanimous support by the Assembly, Michael said:
‘The general consensus during today’s debate was that the Incapacity Benefit reassessment system was not working as well as it could, with particular concerns expressed regarding the potential absence of medical information at certain stages of the process.’
‘I fully understand that this system has its roots elsewhere in the United Kingdom, however post conflict Northern Ireland inherited a very substantial amount of people whose physical and mental wellbeing was seriously damaged, so what may pertain satisfactorily elsewhere in the UK, may not sit quite so well here given our population demographics and recent history.’
‘It is incumbent among all those of influence to stand up without prejudice and highlight the failings in this system. I believe, on a substantially cross party basis, that this is what happened today.’