Crisis loans to be slashed in Chorley and Leyland
8:00am Sunday 13th January 2013 in News
Crisis loans for some of Chorley and Leyland’s most needy families will be heavily slashed for 2013, it has been revealed.
Government revisions of the Social Fund, which provides emergency payouts for everything from living expenses to furniture for poverty-hit households, will be cut by hundreds of thousands of pounds from April.
Replacing the Social Fund will be a new Care and Urgent Needs Support scheme, administered by the county council.
But the budget handed out to serve Lancashire’s 12 districts is just £2.9million – when the payouts for 2011-12 topped £4.56million.
The bill for Chorley alone was £303,500 and it was £222,900 in Leyland and South Ribble. The county council’s new scheme will be delivered by its new benefits service, administered by One Connect, through its partnership with telecoms giant BT.
County officials say their system will not only concentrate on giving ‘one-off payments’ but will also focus on why individuals require financial assistance, and customers may be directed to money advice services.
Only two applications by individuals will be nominally considered as part of the new set-up in any one year – though this was criticised by welfare rights campaigners during consultations.
Final decisions must be taken on whether assistance will take the form of cash payments or vouchers.