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Social Fund

Volume 113: debated on Monday 30 March 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will seek the views of voluntary organisations providing residential and other services for supplementary benefit recipients as part of the consultation process on the proposed social fund.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) on 25 March at column 211.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how the social fund budgets to be issued to local social security offices in April 1988 will differ from the cash limits which are to be introduced when there is sufficient experience of the operation of the fund.

The budgets will be specific to individual offices, and each office will be required to keep spending within its budget. Within the total amount available in the fund at any time, however, there will be contingency arrangements at national level to meet unforeseen demands while totally unexpected increases in expenditure at the end of a year can, if necessary, be accommodated by running down the standing balance in the fund. A cash limit, when introduced, will apply to the aggregate of voted money paid into the fund in any financial year.