§ 15. Mr. Savidge
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to tackle the problems of those who suffer social exclusion, despite living within areas of general affluence. 
§ Mr. Macdonald
We are committed to tackling poverty and exclusion wherever it occurs. Initiatives like the New Deal, the Working Families Tax Credit, the National Minimum Wage and the highest ever increase in Child Benefit and the minimum income guarantee for all pensioners, index-linked to average earnings will help individuals and families in every community in Scotland.
From 1 July 1999 action taken forward under the social inclusion strategy will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.
§ 22. Mr. Gorrie
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to ensure that financial support is provided to enable voluntary organisations which provide community services relevant to social exclusion to continue to function and to plan ahead. 
§ Mr. Galbraith
The importance of voluntary organisations in helping to deliver the range of policies aimed at tackling social exclusion in Scotland is already recognised in the high level of funding which is provided by the Government. Scottish Office funding for the sector totals nearly £283 million a year, with £23 million in direct aid and a further £260 million provided through other funded agencies. These funds support organisations working in the fields of social welfare, health promotion, homelessness, the provision of social housing, rural poverty and urban deprivation.
From 1 July 1999, this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.