Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay and Moyle Chairperson Cllr Cara McShane have met with Tommy O’Reilly, Chief Executive of the Social Security Agency, to discuss their about Jobseekers signing on in Ballycastle and other Jobs and Benefits issues across the district.
Daithí McKay MLA said: “Moyle is the only council area in the north without any SSA service and is of course more rural and remote than many other districts. We organised this meeting to push for more service provision in the Moyle area.
“We used the opportunity to push for more resources to remove the obstacles for people physically claiming Jobseekers benefits when entitled to them, and to ensure easier access for people seeking help in returning to employment.”
Cllr Cara McShane added: “We raised concerns of constituents having to travel from Ballycastle to Ballymoney on a fortnightly basis. For many this involves a full day of travelling using the public transport system, when they could effectively be continuing to use this time to seek employment. Although the Chief Executive gave a commitment to contacting claimants with the option of signing-on in Coleraine, we pushed for greater access to postal sign-on. I asked for more joined-up working between the Social Security Agency and Network Personnel in Ballycastle and they agreed to look at this further
“The Chief Executive of the Social Security Agency has also given an assurance to reviewing the issues with the postal arrangements for Rathlin Island and we outlined the importance of communication links with the islanders.”