HC Deb 17 September 2003 vol 410 c861W
Mr. Gardiner

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to assist those for whom a move to new employment would impose cash flow problems. [129858]

John Healey

The Government recognise that the transition from welfare to work can be difficult for many. Consequently it has developed a range of measures to ease the move to new employment. The Job Grant offers £100 to longer-term benefit claimants who move into work. From October 2004 eligibility for the Job Grant will be extended and a new higher rate of £250 for households with children will be introduced.

These enhanced arrangements will replace the Back to Work Bonus and the lone parent Income Support run-on.

They will also be complemented by further changes to additional support. From April 2003, access to the Adviser Discretion Fund (ADF) has been extended to all those who have been claiming benefits for six months or more to meet essential costs of moving into work. In addition, from April 2004 a series of measures to simplify the administration of Housing Benefit will be introduced. These will include ending the requirement for claimants to submit a new claim each time they return to work. Instead they will only need to report their change in circumstances, making the move into work easier and smoother.

Further details of all these measures can be found in the 2002 Pre-Budget Report and 2003 Budget Report.