§ Mr. Miscampbell
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects the Independent Living Fund to being operations; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Scott
The trust deed was signed this morning and the Independent Living Fund is now formally established. The trustees have already begun work on determining how the fund will operate. Payments from the fund can be made immediately.
I have today laid regulations before the House which will have the effect of disregarding, for the purposes of family credit and income support, payments of income or capital from the fund. A similar regulation in respect of housing benefit will be laid as soon as possible but arrangements have been made to ensure that no beneficiary of the fund will suffer a financial loss because of this unavoidable delay.
I have placed in the Library a copy of the press release issued by the Department. This contains a copy of the trust deed and biographical notes on the 10 trustees.