The government wants to cut local welfare provision (LWP) – one off grants that support those living in poverty to cover unexpected expenses like fixing a broken cooker or topping up gas and electricity.
It’s a small amount of money that helps lift people out of homelessness, prevents others becoming homeless and stops much bigger costs later on.
The government is scrapping the £178 million LWA budget and has told local councils to fund it themselves. But with budgets already under pressure, councils of all parties have said there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to fund LWA in 2015-16.
We have one last chance to save this lifeline – please respond to the government consultation (2.2 Local Welfare Provision funding in Local Government Finance Settlement 2015-16 Consultation) and tell the Chancellor of the Exchequer not to scrap LWP funding.
We don’t have long – the consultation closes on Thursday 15 January, so please take action now.
This is the template letter being used by Crisis
I am writing in response to the Local Government Finance Settlement 2015-16 consultation, as I am particularly concerned at the Government’s local welfare provision funding proposal (Question 1). I am copying in the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Local welfare assistance is a vital lifeline for some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society – it helps homeless people move into new accommodation, young people leaving care and women and families fleeing domestic violence. It helps to buy essential furniture, top up gas and electricity or to buy food in an emergency.
Cutting this funding would be disastrous: the LGA found that three quarters of councils would no longer be able to deliver local welfare assistance programmes if it’s scrapped. This would leave many people with nowhere else to turn.
I am pleased that the government has recognised how important this funding is in the local government finance settlement. However, the plans laid out are not enough. As Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people have argued, the current funding should be maintained and paid to councils in a separate grant, to ensure that councils can afford to keep such a vital service going.