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    Official figures show that 70% of councils in England committed to pay out less than half their emergency hardship fund pots by the midpoint of the financial year.

    These figures show that councils were on course to hand back millions of unspent discretionary housing payment funds in April this year. Piggy Bank 2

    The DWP figures show that one in six councils have committed to pay out less than a quarter of its pot, reports Inside Housing.

    Esther McVey, minister for employment, said: “We are fixing the benefits system, but we have ensured help is there for people as we go through the changes. There is a significant amount of cash still available to help people who need extra support – despite scare stories that the funding would run out in a matter of months. It is encouraging that the vast majority of councils appear to be spending the money wisely and ensuring it goes to the people who need it most. But the cash is there to be used and we urge people who need an extra bit of help to contact their local authority.”

    Additional DHP funding of £20m was announced last summer and £3.3m has been awarded to 29 councils so far.

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    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1102931

    January 02, 2014 by Laura Matthews Categories: Funding

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