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Social Fund Reform

Volume 507: debated on Monday 15 March 2010

Today I am publishing the Government’s consultation document (Green Paper) on social fund reform. This consultation sets out the package of reforms designed to create a scheme which:

is simpler for customers to understand and use and simpler for our staff to deliver to ensure better value for money;

plays a more active and sustainable role in helping people resolve their longer-term financial needs and supports them to become more financially independent as well as dealing with short-term crises;

is set within the wider context of financial inclusion and education, and is aligned with the range of products and services that the Government deliver for people with complex and enduring needs.

It aims to align the social fund with the Government agenda of financial inclusion and capability, in order to help support the most vulnerable in society towards greater financial independence. It also presents our objectives to ensure that the system is fair, affordable and sustainable for the future. We believe that these proposals will make a very substantial difference to the financial environment experienced by many people.

Copies of the document entitled: “Social Fund reform: debt, credit and low income households” are available in the Vote Office and will be made available later today on the DWP website.