Council pledges to support people with vulnerabilities following government cuts
Kensington and Chelsea Council has pledged to protect emergency financial support for people with vulnerabilities after the government has cancelled the grant which funds it.
After previously being paid by the Department for Work and Pensions, emergency support grants were delegated to local authorities in 2013. However the DWP has now indicated that it intends to withdraw the money which funds them. Due to this Kensington and Chelsea has decided to step in and met the cost itself, which is estimated to be £435,000 in 2015/16, reports 24dash.
The council also intends to bridge the gap between the government grant to pay council tax benefit and the full cost. The government grant only covers 90% of the cost of the benefit but rather than ask residents for the remainder, the council will pay the difference at a cost of £1m.
Councillor Warwick Lightfoot, cabinet member for finance and strategy, said: “It is plain that the public finances remain a serious constraint and that the government and local authorities are having to take very difficult decisions to ensure that they are sustainable in the future. But no one should believe it is easy for local government to absorb this cut. Our decision to use the Council’s money to replace central government funding means that we have to make further progress in increasing our efficiency, getting better value for the money we spend and more efficient use of the property assets that we own. It is increased efficiency and economy that enables the Council to continue to help vulnerable people in practical ways.”
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