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Social Fund

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 28th June 2012.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his policy is on the scope local councils will be given to decide how the social fund is spent.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

It will be for local authorities to design and deliver their services in line with our policy of freeing local councils to deliver for the public not central Government, giving them capacity to do what's right for their area. Their local knowledge, broad responsibilities and experience of benefits administration put them in an ideal position to design and deliver the new support in a way that best fits local circumstances and needs and aligns with existing welfare services in a cost-effective manner.

However, the funding will be accompanied by a settlement letter which will make clear that it is to be used to concentrate resources on those facing greatest difficulty in managing their income, and to enable a more flexible response to unavoidable need.

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