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Social Fund

Volume 718: debated on Tuesday 30 March 2010

Statement

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Helen Goodman) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I am pleased to announce that the gross discretionary Social Fund Budget for 2010-11 will be £802 million.

With the net funding available, I have been able to allocate a gross national SF Loans Budget of £660 million and a national Community Care Grants Budget of £141 million from 1 April 2010.

The net funding available includes £141.5 million additional loans funding for 2010-11 only.

I will allocate a gross national SF Loans Budget in line with the provisions in the Welfare Reform Act 2007. The aim is to control and manage the national allocation whilst providing consistency of outcomes for Budgeting Loan applicants wherever they live. All loans budget expenditure will be made from the gross national loans budget of £660 million. Concerns have been raised by stakeholders about the current methodology of allocating Community Care Grants and these will be considered as part of the reform process that was announced on 15 March 2010 in the Social Fund Reform: Debt, Credit and Low-income Household consultation paper CM 7750.

To provide help to Jobcentre Plus budgets facing unexpected and unplanned expenditure I will retain centrally £1 million as a contingency reserve.

Details of individual Community Care Grant allocations will be placed in the Library.

Background note about the discretionary Social Fund Budget:

The discretionary Social Fund budget is cash limited. Funding for Community Care Grants is allocated to each budget area for management by Jobcentre Plus Social Fund Benefit Delivery Centres on 1 April each year. The gross discretionary Social Fund budget allocated for 2010-11 is £802 million. This is made up of:

New money (net AME)

£319.7m

Forecast loan recovery

£482.3m

This is to be allocated as follows:

Loans

£660m

Grants

£141m

Contingency reserve

£1m