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Monday, 29 September 2014

Local welfare assistance receives last minute reprieve — Z2K [Justice for vulnerable debtors]

From Z2K — Justice for vulnerable debtors

Hidden amidst the drama of the Scottish independence referendum, last week saw the welcome news that the Department for Communities & Local Government had agreed to look again at its outrageous decision to end funding for the Local Welfare Assistance schemes that replaced the Discretionary Social Fund Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants. The move followed an application for Judicial Review of ministers’ decision by Christian Jump, a disabled Cheshire resident, who was represented by Doughty Street Chambers and Public Law Solicitors, and backed by the Child Poverty Action Group.

The Discretionary Social Fund had many problems, but like many others, Z2K always feared that the devolution of responsibility to local authorities would make those problems even worse. The last Labour Government consulted on very similar proposals to those implemented by the Coalition last year, but backed off after intense lobbying by anti-poverty campaigners. It was little surprise to see them resurface when the Coalition took office. But even the most cynical observers were shocked by the Government sneaking out news of the £178 million cut in the fine print of the local government funding settlement over Christmas break....

 Continue reading on z2k's website....

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