SDLP Slams DWP Over ESA Underpayments

The SDLP has hit out at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after new findings revealed ESA underpayments were avoidable.

Deputy leader of the party Nichola Mallon said the findings from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) show the DWPs "total lack of disregard for the welfare of claimants who rely on the payments".

She said: "The PAC report is an accurate reflection of the experience of welfare reform for many constituents, who feel as though they are merely a number.
News Image
"The DWPs 'culture of indifference' shown by their lack of urgency to repay claimants the amount owed as a result of its blunder, and in a timely manner, illustrates just where the priorities of this Tory Government lie.

"The lives of vulnerable claimants are tough enough without being denied the support they need to get by, and unfortunately as long as the North remains without a functioning Executive and a Departmental Minister, claimants here are left to the same fate as those who are being failed by DWP across the water."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

23 January 2018
Police Appeal After Substantial Damage Caused To Church During Break-In
Police are appealing for information following a burglary at a church in east Belfast. The break-in at St Patrick's Church on the Newtownards Road happened between 9pm on Friday, 19 January, and 10am on Sunday, 21 January. Substantial damage was caused, according to the PSNI.
19 February 2019
NI Parents Lack Hope For Their Children's Future
Over 60% of parents in Northern Ireland are more worried than hopeful about their children's future, according to a recent study by Parenting NI.
17 July 2018
Farmer Convicted Over Animal Welfare Charges
A County Down farmer has been sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for two years, on animal welfare charges.
05 March 2019
7,500 NI Pensioners Spared From PIP Assessment Reviews
Over seven thousand pensioners from Northern Ireland will no longer have to undergo repeat assessments for their Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefit.
08 November 2018
MLA's Condemn Findings Of Social Investment Fund Audit
Local politicians have condemned the recent findings of the independent NI Office Report into the Social Investment Fund (SIF) and branded it the next RHI inquiry. The audit uncovered evidence of poor governance of the £93 million fund, along with conflicts of interest and a lack of transparency and accountability.