To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
(1) what consideration he has given to the provision of welfare waivers for people starting their own businesses using micro-credit; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what representations he has received on the provision of welfare waivers for people starting their own business using micro-credit; and if he will make a statement.
The Secretary of State had a meeting on the
While the Government welcome initiatives to improve the take up of self-employment as a route out of benefit dependency, it has no plans to introduce specific disregards for this proposal.
However, we are clear that more needs to be done to encourage and help unemployed people to see self employment as a viable route off benefits and into financial independence. We have therefore introduced the new enterprise allowance (NEA). The NEA provides mentoring and financial support in the form of a weekly allowance and small loan.
The NEA is just one element in our wide ranging programme of welfare reform, a major part of which is universal credit and the introduction of the Work programme, both of which will provide more flexible ways of supporting people into sustained work including self-employment.