To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what arrangements are made to allow a person receiving income support who is participating in a training course provided by a voluntary organisation, local authority, or training and enterprise council or local enterprise company and which is funded by the European social fund, to be paid a weekly voluntary or charitable payment by his or her training provider without it being deducted from his or her income support; and if he will make a statement.
Charitable or voluntary payments can be made to recipients of income support in a wide variety of ways without affecting their benefit. For example, regular charitable or voluntary payments which are intended and used for items other than food, ordinary clothing or footwear, household fuel, housing costs covered by benefit, community charge or water charges are fully disregarded. Regular charitable or voluntary payments of up to £10 a week are also ignored, provided that the recipient has no other income which attracts a £10 disregard. In addition, regular payments in kind are disregarded.