HC Deb 25 October 1999 vol 336 c760W
Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with the DfEE and the DSS about the effects of the benefits system on volunteers in(a) the Arts and (b) sport. [95193]

Kate Hoey

My Department recently published a report by Policy Action Team 10 (PAT 10), on how to maximise the impact on poor neighbourhoods of Government spending and policies on arts, sport and leisure. Other Government Departments including DfEE were represented on PAT 10. The report included a recommendation that'the DfEE and DSS should work together to ensure that the benefits system does not penalise those who volunteer to help community-building activities or who want to take up training or work opportunities offered by small community organisations, and that it operates to meet the flexibility for developing artistic and sporting talent'. My Department consulted with both DfEE and DSS regarding this recommendation prior to publication of the report and will be entering into further discussions with them in order to take the recommendation forward.

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