Assurances sought for disabled

Jenny Palmer.  Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Jenny Palmer. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

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The Stormont Executive and especially the future Social Development Minister must give categorical assurances on rights for people with long-term disabilities, special needs, and the families who care for them, the two Lagan Valley Ulster Unionist Assembly candidates, Councillor Robbie Butler and Councillor Jenny Palmer, have said.

In their joint statement, the two UUP candidates said: “If elected to Stormont, we will challenge the Minister and Executive to reassure people who have long-term disabilities and special needs, and the families who care for them, that the new assessment process for the employment and support allowance will not result in those people having to participate in work or training that they cannot do.

“We certainly will remind the Executive about the past Welfare Reform Bill debate in Stormont when assurances were given.

“We want to ensure that anyone who had particular difficulties would not be forced into work-type situations.

“We intend to keep both the Minister and the Executive to this pledge regarding one of the most vulnerable sections of our hard-pressed society.

“We give a pledge to the constituents that if we uncover any evidence suggesting that any of our constituents was experiencing certain difficulties, we will inform the relevant ministers.”