My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Helen Goodman) has made the following Statement.
I am pleased to announce publication of the annual report by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the Social Fund 2008-09 and the Social Fund Commissioner’s annual report 2008-09.
The Secretary of State’s annual report on the Social Fund for 2008-09 (Cm 7677) has been laid before Parliament and will be published later today. Copies are available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.
The report records that total gross expenditure in 2008-09, excluding winter fuel payments, was over £1.1 billion. This included over 252,000 non-repayable community care grants and over 3 million interest-free loans together worth over £761 million, Funeral and cold weather payments totalling over £258 million and almost 263,000 Sure Start maternity grants worth almost £133 million. In addition, an estimated 9 million households benefited from a winter fuel payment at an estimated cost of around £2.7 billion.
The Social Fund Commissioner’s report will be published later today and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.