§ Mr. Matthew Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the schemes his Department operates to assist staff facing financial hardship following a transfer, showing(a) the particular criteria and rules applying to each one, including the circumstances under which any loans can be written off, (b) the total amount loaned or granted under the schemes in 1992–93 and so far in 1993–94 and (c) the number of staff assisted in 1992–93 and so far in 1993–94.
§ Mr. Howard
Under authority delegated from the Treasury the Department may assist staff facing serious financial hardship following a transfer in the public interest. The assistance available depends on the circumstances of each case. It may include concessionary payment of an advance of salary, and concessionary payment of a housing cost supplement to assist with an increased mortgage. It may also include a special payment of part or all of any unavoidable shortfall between the equity released by the sale of a property and an outstanding approved bridging loan. The Department must be satisfied that:
- (a) There is serious financial hardship: the individual must provide details of his or her income—including his or her spouse's and his or her outgoings.
- (b) There is a genuine loss: i.e. the equity released by the prospective sale will be insufficient to clear the bridging loan approved by the Department. The proposed sale price must be supported by an independent valuation arranged by Home Office accounts branch through the chief valuer's office of the Inland Revenue.
- (c) The individual is making his or her maximum affordable contribution to meeting the shortfall: i.e. has taken out the maximum available and affordable mortgage and advance of salary.
- (d) The individual has acted reasonably in all transactions relating to the bridging loan.
Special payments in excess of £20,000 must be approved by the Treasury. The only loans made are advances of salary. No such advances have been written off.510W
The other information requested is follows:
1992–93 Main Home Office Prison Service Advances of salary £98,105 £575,377 Numbers of staff 111 932 Special payments £507,403 £975,882 Numbers of staff 151 902 Notes: 1 9 staff received an advance of salary and a special payment. 2 70 staff received and advance of salary and a special payment.
1993–94 (to 18 February 1994) Main Home Office Prison Service Advances of salary £92,062 £606,884 Numbers of staff 61 642 Special payments £98,753 £1,089,329 Numbers of staff 51 662 Notes 14 staff received an advance of salary and a special payment. 247 staff received an advance of salary and a special payment.
No payments have been made by the United Kingdom Passport Agency, the Forensic Science Service or the Fife Service College.