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Social Fund: Glasgow

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 20 July 2009, Official Report, column 110WS, on the Discretionary Social Fund, for what reasons the changes to the Discretionary Social Fund were extended to Glasgow; and when she expects such an extension to end. (292915)

This change requires customers to be interviewed when they make a third or subsequent application for a crisis loan to cover living expenses (not including loans to cover the period before the customer receives their first payment of benefit or wages) in a rolling 12 month period.

This policy was extended to Glasgow in order to test the impact of this change in a large city environment; and to provide a comparison for Jobcentre Plus of the impact of interviewing a client on a third and subsequent crisis loan application in isolation from the combined measure being tested elsewhere. The testing in the two other areas—the East Midlands and South West Regions—included limiting the number of some crisis loan awards for living expenses to no more than three in 12 months.

We plan to rollout the changes nationally from the end of October 2009.