Skip to main content

Welfare Tax Credits: Mentally Ill

Volume 475: debated on Friday 16 May 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to support people with mental health problems who are on low incomes to gain access to affordable credit; and if he will make a statement. (205359)

The Government have a range of programmes to provide assistance to those with mental health problems, including outreach services, and is developing a National Strategy for Mental Health and Work to improve the employment chances of those with a mental health condition. In addition, many people on low incomes, and particularly those from vulnerable groups, are unable to access sources of affordable credit that meet their needs. The Government are therefore committed to increasing the supply of affordable credit from credit unions and has allocated £80 million over five years (2006-11) as a Growth Fund to support credit unions and other third sector lenders. Funded organisations have provided more than 70,000 loans to financially excluded customers, including those from vulnerable groups, since 2006. In addition, “Financial inclusion: an action plan for 2008-11”, published in December 2007, announced a commitment from the high street banks to support third sector affordable credit, including actions to develop new provision in 25 high priority areas.