NEW BENEFIT SCHEME PUTS AN EXTRA £60 A WEEK IN 4,0000 POCKETS, SAYS MINISTER MCCAUSLAND

Housing Minister Nelson McCausland announces extra £13 million paid out in benefits uptake scheme

BENEFIT payments jumped by over £13 million in a new uptake scheme.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland today revealed that an extra 4,000 people were on average £60-per-week better off as a result.

The Benefit Uptake Campaign over the past year has seen a rise in people taking part, making their pockets better off.

He said: “My Department has stepped up its work and is investing more than ever before in new initiatives to promote benefit uptake and I am delighted with our success this year.

“It is vital that we ensure all those who are entitled to benefits receive them.”

The 2010/11 campaign generated £3.95million in additional benefit and arrears.

The DUP minister added: “The fact that we have managed to secure an additional £13.1million this year for people in need in Northern Ireland – which is more than three times the amount for the previous year – is very encouraging.

“I am committed to making sure that our efforts in this area continue and grow.”

The minister continued: “The current economic climate is putting real pressure on everyone, especially many of our more vulnerable citizens.

“£13.1million is a substantial amount of money that will not only make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable individuals in our society during these challenging financial times, but will also make an impact on local economies as this extra cash will be spent in local businesses in Northern Ireland.”

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