HC Deb 04 March 1988 vol 128 cc744-5W
Mrs. Beckett

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to his reply on 1 February,Official Report, column 488, showing planned social fund expenditure for 1989–90 and 1990–91, what is the planned gross outlay on loans, the amount set aside for contingencies, the total planned expenditure from the social fund and the cost of administration for each of those years, and for 1988–89.

Mr. Scott

The gross national budget for payments from the discretionary part of the social fund for 1988–89 was given in my reply to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Mr. Corbett) on 23 November 1987 at column 84. The salary costs (including employer's national insurance contributions) of the administration of the discretionary part of the social fund will be £37 million in 1988–89. Details of the gross budget, the level of the contingency reserve and staffing levels for future years will be considered in the light of experience.

Mrs. Fyfe

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what help will be given to claimants if, despite the best endeavours of the social fund offices, a local office budget becomes fully spent before the end of the year.

Mr. Portillo

Social fund officers will be expected to manage their budgets flexibly over the course of the year to meet the highest priority needs whenever they occur. A model profile of expected expenditure on a month by month basis has been drawn up at national level to assist in planning expenditure. Local office managers may adjust the national profile to reflect particular local factors. Monthly profiles are indicative only and will not be operated as fixed monthly budgets. A central contingency reserve of £2 million has been set aside to make provision for unforeseen and unforeseeable demands.

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