§ Mr. Andrew Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he is now in a position to announce help for those hostels which currently do not receive direct payments of income support for service charges.
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
I am pleased to announce that from 21 May all hostels and nightshelters may receive direct payments of income support for service charges, including meals, from the outset of a claimant's residence.
This will safeguard the interests of those hostels which have experienced difficulty collecting service charges from residents. This will still allow those hostels which do not wish to take advantage of the direct payment arrangements to encourage their residents to take responsibility for managing their own finances.