Since coming to power, the coalition government has presided over a collapse in support for some of our most vulnerable citizens. Its reforms to the discretionary social fund, which saw it first place restrictions on the amount of help provided and subsequently saw its ‘localisation’ through the devolution of funding to local authorities have proved to be a policy disaster. Our recent audit of local welfare schemes reveals that in the first year of implementation the number of financial awards plummeted from 1.5 million to approximately 400,000. The average level of award for help for people in a financial crisis has, in some areas, fallen to as little as £20, and in some cases people can only get that limited help once per year. While around one fifth of councils have put good schemes in place, a third of them have performed extremely badly: spending less than 40% of their … (To read the full article, subscribe below)
Damon Gibbons is director of the Centre for Responsible Credit.
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