SDLP Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone has asked
the Social Development Minister about alternative arrangements for the
payment of benefits for claimants who use Ulster Bank. The priority Assembly
question was submitted as the Ulster Bank debacle moved into its third week
without any resolution in sight.
Mr McGlone said, “With no indication of the
timescale needed for Ulster Bank to resume normal service, there is growing
concern that an increasing number of people waiting for benefit payments
will be left with no money.
“We cannot allow a situation to develop
where families and individuals who rely on the welfare system are left
unable to buy food or to pay bills.
“If Ulster Bank continues to fail to
resolve whatever issue they have with their computer system, then there is a
real danger that this will become a major problem.
“The Minister must be aware of this. I’ve
asked what alternative arrangements for benefit payments have been
considered for claimants who use Ulster Bank, such as other banks or credit
“The welfare system needs to be ready to
deal with the impact on society of the failure of the Ulster Bank.”
Notes to Editors:
Assembly Question (2 Days) to Social Development Minister
To ask the Minister for Social Development what alternative arrangements
for payment of benefit have been considered for claimants who use Ulster
Bank until normal service at the bank is resumed