The Carrickfergus Borough Council area could lose an estimated £14 million due to welfare reforms, according to a report. The research, by Sheffield Hallam University, shows that Northern Ireland will be the UK region worst hit by welfare reforms, losing an estimated total of £750 million annually. Political parties are currently at loggerheads over the introduction of the welfare reform bill into Northern Ireland, with Sinn Féin and the SDLP refusing to support it while First Minister Peter Robinson has warned of ‘nuclear options‘ if it is not introduced.

In the Carrickfergus area, it is estimated that each working age adult will face a total loss of £540 if the reforms are introduced. Further analysis shows that each adult in the local area could lose £155 in incapacity benefits, £70 in Disability Living Allowance, £65 in Child benefit payments, £95 in tax credits and and £85 from the one per cent uprating of working age benefits.