McNarry says immigrants have received over £156 million in benefits over the past three years here in Northern Ireland
David McNarry MLA, UKIP Leader in Northern Ireland, has revealed that over £156 million has been paid out in benefits to ‘non-UK and Republic of Ireland citizens’ here in the last three years.
“I obtained these figures from a question I asked to the Minister for Social Development,” explained Mr McNarry.
“In 2012/2013 0ver £45 million was paid out in benefits to non-UK and Republic of Ireland citizens. In 2013/14 this figure had risen to nearly £53 million. Last year, in 2014/15 the figure was over £57 million. That makes a total of just over £156 million in the past three years. This covers income support, pension credit, jobseekers allowance, employment support allowance, disability living allowance, attendance allowance, industrial injuries benefit, invalid carers allowance, retirement pension, widows benefit, incapacity benefit, severe disablement benefit and – until last year – maternity allowance.
The biggest expenditure was on jobseekers allowance (JSA), employment support allowance (ESA) and disability living allowance (DLA). Together the big three, as I call them, accounted for almost £105 million of the £156 million total.”
“What does the £156 million we have spent on immigrant benefits in the past three years equate to?
Well in 2015-2016 Invest Northern Ireland has been given £132 million. Tourist development here has been given just over £21 million. So between them this equates to what we have spent on benefits paid to immigrants in the last three years. In 2015/2016, we plan to spend £125 million on student support. In 2015/2016, the Department of Education plans to spend £146 million on capital spends. That is less than immigrant benefits have cost us in the last three years. We plan to spend £213 million on health department capital projects in 2015/2016. This compares to the £156 million we spent on benefits to immigrants in the last three years. Perhaps it is time to adjust our priorities and how we spend our money?”
Mr. McNarry added:
“Mind you, this is a small action of the total benefits bill which in Northern Ireland ran to over £5.12 Billion in 2012/2013, £4.6 Billion in 2013/2014 and £4.8 Billion in 2014/2015. Notice please, that this is Billions, not just millions. It comes to almost £15 Billion total in the last three years. The big three – jobseekers allowance (JSA), employment support allowance (ESA) and disability living allowance (DLA) come to a total of £4.88 Billion.”