Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Welfare Reform Bill motion

Assembly members have voted to create an ad hoc committee to examine the equality aspects of a bill which will bring the biggest shake-up of social security benefits for decades, on 20 November 2012.

Members voted on whether the Welfare Reform Bill could continue to be scrutinised by the Social Development Committee.

The debate on the motion took place the previous day, but due to the issue of a valid petition of concern by Sinn Fein and the SDLP, the vote was unable to take place until the following day.

During the earlier debate, Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland warned that the establishment of an ad hoc committee to examine the bill would squander time and money.

He said the Social Development Committee could explore equality and human rights issues without incurring delays.

However a motion which would have allowed the Welfare reform bill to move ahead without setting up an equality committee did not achieve cross community consent, so under the Assembly's rules an ad hoc committee will now be established.


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