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Crisis Loans

Volume 201: debated on Friday 20 December 1991

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what guidelines he issues as to whether the inability to repay should take precedence over the crisis need when refusing a crisis loan.

No guidelines are necessary. The Secretary of State's directions require social fund officers to decide whether a crisis need exists before looking at the question of an applicant's ability to repay.

The figures requested are in the following table.The table lists supplementary benefits rates for a single householder aged 25 up to 1987. This rate is not however the one paid to all of the client group. Across all age groups, approximately 52 per cent. of single unemployed claimants were non-householders (May 1987 annual statistical inquiry). This group received a lower rate of benefit. Separate figures relating to the over-25 age group are not available.It should be noted that in the period from April 1988 (when income support was introduced) to April 1991, the average weekly earnings of all adult males rose by 30 per cent.