Response: DWP Social Fund call for evidence

By: Kate Webb  Published: April 2011


Shelter is concerned that this call for evidence has been launched in tandem with the Welfare Reform Bill, which will abolish the Social Fund. We are disappointed that the Bill received its second reading before this enquiry was concluded and are concerned that the relevant clause could reach committee stage before responses have been collated.

Summary

Shelter is aware that the Social Fund is in need of reform, particularly in light of critical reports from the Public Accounts Committee and National Audit Office. Shelter has previously highlighted a number of concerns with the Social Fund, not all of which have been resolved. Our advice and support staff report protracted applications lasting weeks or months to secure essential items such as washing machines or fridges and it is routine for staff to have to appeal against Community Care Grant decisions.