SDLP MP Mark Durkan has blasted Chancellor George Osborne’s new conditions for the long-term jobless.
The plans include community work placements, daily visits to a job centre or taking part in compulsory training.
The SDLP representative for Foyle said the plans were not about improving the position of those without work or the condition of the economy.
He said it was more about positioning George Osborne and the conditioning of the start of a divisive debate with a partisan electoral motive.
Mr Durkan said: “This latest stance proves that the big changes in the coalition’s Welfare Reform Act – many which are not yet in force – would not be the end of change.
“Instead, as some of us warned, that Act was framed to provide a platform for the rolling erosion of social security benefits,” he added.