§ Mr. Ron Davies
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give(a) the figure of the amount lent in Wales under the social fund scheme, (b) the amount currently outstanding and (c) the numbers of those currently liable.
§ Mr. Roger Evans
The administration of the social fund is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.
Letter from Mr. Michael Bichard to Mr. Ron Davies, dated 7 March 1995:The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question requesting the figure for the amount lent in Wales under the Social Fund scheme, the amount currently outstanding and the numbers of those currently liable.You ask for the figure of the amount lent in Wales under the Social Fund scheme. You are probably aware that the Fund has two distinct parts—regulated and discretionary. Social Fund Budgeting Loans and Crisis Loans are part of the discretionary part of the scheme.The amount of loans expenditure in Wales for the period 1 April 1994 to 31 January 1995 is £12,143,769.41. The amount currently outstanding (unspent) in Wales for loans in the current financial year is £2,823,256.00. I am also able to tell you that as at 31 January 1995 £13,597.79, in total, was owed by applicants in the Benefits Agency Districts in Wales. This figure will include amounts outstanding on loans currently being repaid and for loans where recovery has been interrupted or deferred.I am unable to supply the numbers of those currently liable as the Social Fund Computer System does not count the number of individual customers. However, the number of awards made in Wales for loans for the period 1 April 1994 to 31 January 1995 is 77,417. As a customer may have more than one loan outstanding, and many customers will have repaid their loan(s) within this period, this figure may he greater than the number of those currently liable.I hope you find this reply helpful.