§ Mr. Meacher
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to ensure that all families in receipt of family income supplement shall automatically receive school uniform and clothing grants to which they would otherwise be entitled under a separate means test.
§ Mr. Dean
No. The benefits for which family income supplement can appropriately serve as a passport are those which are available nationally and for which the assessment levels are similar to the family income supplement levels. Uniform allowances are available at the discretion of the local authorities, which are best placed to assess the needs of their areas and to devise the most appropriate schemes of assistance to meet these needs. It is, of course, open to an individual local authority to treat receipt of family income supplement as a passport in appropriate circumstances.