North Devon MP slams welfare support cut
Nick Harvey MP has pressed the Government on cuts to support for vulnerable families in North Devon.
At questions in Parliament, Nick pressed Communities Minister Kris Hopkins on the future of a local discretionary scheme to support people in crisis, rolled out throughout the country after the abolition of Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants.
The Department for Work and Pensions advised earlier in the year that the scheme, worth £1.2 million in Devon, would be cut next year, leaving local authorities to have to find the funding themselves.
Nick asked the Minister to bring forward funding in the Local Government Finance Settlement, due to be published imminently. The Minister said he would take into account the MP’s comments and make a decision soon.
Nick said: “Discretionary assistance for people in urgent crises has helped 446 people in North Devon this year facing desperate situations – this can be anything from food for a family fleeing domestic violence to covering the costs of transport to visit a sick child in hospital. It would be devastating to some of the most vulnerable people in North Devon if these funds disappeared.
“Once the £1.2million required to fund the scheme in Devon is cut, the expectation is that the County Council itself will have to dig into its finances and find the money to continue providing this sort of help. But this is simply impossible at a time when Devon County Council is facing such a huge squeeze on its budgets, and we need to see some positive news in the coming Local Government Finance Settlement if councils are to protect such schemes.”
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