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Social Fund

Volume 454: debated on Wednesday 13 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Social Fund loans were (a) paid back in full and (b) were not paid in full in each of the last 10 years; and what the total value of unpaid loans was in each year. (106025)

The available information is in the tables.

Number of loans paid back in full

Thousand

Budgeting loans

Crisis loans

Total

1999-2000

933

792

1,725

2000-01

1,094

826

1,919

2001-02

1,164

823

1,987

2002-03

1,173

795

1,967

2003-04

1,194

821

2,015

2004-05

1,192

874

2,066

2005-06

1,140

893

2,033

Notes:

1. The table gives the number of loans where full payment was completed in the given year, although the loan may have been taken out in an earlier year.

2 Figures may not sum due to rounding.

Source:

Analysis of age-of-debt scans (loans recorded on the Social Fund computer system)

Value of outstanding debt at 31 March

£ million

Budgeting loans

Crisis loans

Total

1997

291

78

369

1998

319

80

399

1999

355

87

442

2000

377

95

472

2001

391

105

496

2002

414

122

537

2003

416

145

561

2004

434

164

598

2005

452

178

630

2006

492

192

684

Notes:

1. The majority of outstanding Social Fund debt is owed by debtors who are repaying their debt.

2. Figures may not sum due to rounding.

3. If a Social Fund loan has not yet been repaid in full, it may still be repaid in full at a later date. If a debtor is in receipt of benefit, a Social Fund loan is normally repaid by automatic deductions from that benefit. If a debtor leaves benefit, the Social Fund loan is normally transferred to DWP Debt Management to pursue recovery. Social Fund loans are rarely written off.

4. The final gross loans budget has usually increased from year to year.

Source:

Social Fund White Paper Accounts

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what was the average Social Fund (a) loan and (b) grant payment was in each year since the Social Fund began. (106026)

The available information is in the table.

Average initial social fund award

£

Budgeting loan

Crisis loan

Community care grant

1995-96

253

64

275

1996-97

289

64

307

1997-98

319

64

327

1998-99

350

64

343

1999-2000

381

62

343

2000-01

375

66

338

2001-02

375

71

338

2002-03

366

75

342

2003-04

384

77

364

2004-05

405

78

390

2005-06

423

81

406

Note:

Figures do not include awards made after review.

Source:

DWP Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System (except that the numbers of initial awards for 1999-2000 are taken from a scan of the social fund computer system, as data are unavailable from the usual source).

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individual loans were made by the Social Fund in each year since its inception. (106028)

The information is in the table.

Number of initial Social Fund loans

Thousand

1988-89

884

1989-90

1,029

1990-91

1,100

1991-92

1,303

1992-93

1,472

1993-94

1,553

1994-95

1,619

1995-96

1,753

1996-97

1,688

1997-98

1,719

1998-99

1,801

1999-2000

1,956

2000-01

2,075

2001-02

2,231

2002-03

2,315

2003-04

2,309

2004-05

2,200

2005-06

2,233

Note:

Figures do not include awards made after review.

Source:

Secretary of State’s annual reports on the Social Fund.

The number of initial budgeting loan and crisis loan awards for a particular year are included in the Secretary of State’s annual report on the Social Fund. The most recent for 2005-06 can be seen on the DWP website at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/dwp/2006/annual-report-social-fund.pdf

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many applications to the Social Fund were refused in each of the last 10 years. (106029)

The information requested is in the table.

Social Fund applications initially refused

Total (Thousand)

1996-97

1,748

1997-98

1,759

1998-99

1,699

1999-2000

1,469

2000-01

1,295

2001-02

1,193

2002-03

1,206

2003-04

1,183

2004-05

1,109

2005-06

1,112

Note:

The total includes refusals for maternity payment, sure start maternity grant, funeral payment, community care grant, budgeting loan and crisis loan.

Source:

Secretary of State’s annual reports on the Social Fund.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average length of repayment was for the term of a Social Fund loan in each of the last 10 years. (106030)