Almost a quarter of Fermanagh and South Tyrone’s population is on benefits

Shocking number on benefits
Shocking number on benefits

Shocking new figures show that 23,278 people are trapped on welfare dependency in the South Tyrone and Fermanagh area, which amounts to just under a quarter of the population.

Most worrying is the amount claiming Disability Living Allowance - 9,510, representing almost ten percent of the local consituency’s residents.

The Impact of Welfare Reform report said these moves would lead to average reductions of £650 a year for every adult of working age in Northern Ireland, compared to £470 across Britain

The high figures suggest that the South Tyrone area will be amongst the hardest hit by the new benefit cuts and stringent sickness benefit testing,

The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action has commissioned a study of the impact of a host of benefit changes introduced by the coalition government.

The Impact of Welfare Reform report said these moves would lead to average reductions of £650 a year for every adult of working age in Northern Ireland, compared to £470 across Britain.

Government reforms to welfare include a £26,000 cap on the amount households can claim in welfare in a year and a three-year period of annual uprating being limited to 1%.

According to the research paper, the biggest financial losses to Northern Ireland arise from the coalition’s reforms to incapacity benefits (£230m a year), changes to tax credits (£135m a year) and the 1% up-rating of most working-age benefits (£120m a year). Reforms to Disability Living Allowance will also remove £105m a year from the economy, it added.