HC Deb 01 March 1994 vol 238 cc667-8W
Mr. Matthew Taylor

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the schemes his Department operates to assist staff facing financial hardship following a transfer, showing(a) the particular criteria and rules applying to each one, including the circumstances under which any loans can be written off, (b) the total amount loaned or granted under the schemes in 1992–93 and so far in 1993–94 and (c) the number of staff assisted in 1992–93 and so far in 1993–94.

Mr. Nelson

When staff have to relocate as a result of the needs of the Department, assistance is given to meet reasonable costs involved in relocation, including the cost of professional fees, stamp duty and removals. In addition, payments may be made to cover the cost of bridging finance taken to purchase a new property. Where an officer experiences difficulty in selling his existing property and this results in financial hardship the Department may:

  1. 1. relax the conditions attached to advances of salary;
  2. 2. base additional housing costs allowance (AHCA) on actual price differentials rather than average prices;
  3. 3. relax the conditions attached to payment of housing cost supplements (HCS);
  4. 4. as a last resort write off part of the bridging loan after sale.

Each individual case is assessed the treated on its own merits.

For 1992–93 and 1993–94 the number of cases where write-off action has been taken is:

  • 1992–93 1 case £4,850 written off
  • 1993–94 1 case £4,000 written off