Govt 'cutting funding to most vulnerable'

The organisations say abolishing community care grants will hit the most vulnerable.
The organisations say abolishing community care grants will hit the most vulnerable.

By staff

Cuts to the social fund risk removing the safety net for the most vulnerable, leading charities have warned.

Fifteen organisations have written a letter to state pensions minister Steve Webb demanding a meeting to discuss the cutbacks.

Under government plans community care grants will be abolished along with most aspects of crisis loans as the welfare system is streamlined to create a universal credit.

The charities argue this exposes the most vulnerable people, who turn to these two welfare payments in times of crisis.

Community care grants are designed to pay for community care, such as for people returning from a stay in a care home.

While crisis loans are intended to help those who need money in emergency situations or disasters.

The letter accused the Department of Work and Pensions of a "lack of analysis" into the needs of the most vulnerable who depend upon the measures.

It highlighted figures showing large demand for both the grants and loans.

In 2009/10, there were 640,000 applications for a community care grant, and 3.65 million applications for a crisis loan in 2009/10.

The charities pointed to evidence given to the public accounts committee that on average only 32 percent of "legitimate demand" was met.

The group of organisations also raised questions about the decision to transfer administration to local authorities who face deep budget cuts.

The letter was signed by the Chartered Institute of Housing, Citizens Advice, Community Links, CPAG, Crisis, Family Action, Gingerbread, Homeless Link, National Housing Federation, Platform 51, RNIB, Shelter, St Mungo's, Toynbee Hall and the TUC.


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