May 2013 Local Welfare Provision Update
In October 2012 we explained the plans to replace the discretionary Social Fund (primarily Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants) with local welfare provision provided by local authorities and devolved administrations.
These provisions came into effect from April 2013. Already critics are arguing that the funding transferred from central government is insufficient to meet local need at a time of increasing demand for assistance. More significantly, the transferred funding is not ring-fenced, fueling fears that hard-pressed local authorities will struggle to provide a fair, transparent and reasonably funded scheme. Many authorities plan to use local food and furniture banks to assist those facing the greatest difficulty, supplemented by the use of vouchers or possibly increased funding through discretionary housing payments and payments to families under section 17 Children Act 1989.
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