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Friday 17 January 2014

Brent Crisis Payments

I have had a little more detail about Brent's local version of crisis payments following my earlier post on their threatened abolition by central government.  This has the potential to inflict real hardship on the poorest of the poor, and may well lead to knock on costs for other services.

The take up for Brent up to October was fairly poor, spending about 16% of the total budget.  This was apparently down to the budget being based on figures from the DWP that turned out to be wrong, and partly because Brent (like most authorities) was cautious in designing its scheme.  Certainly I can't believe it is down to lack of need given the huge rise in use of food banks.  Like food banks, crisis payments are intended for use for short term emergencies, not as a long term provision.

News of the impending wholesale cut in funding is now holding the Council back from publicising the help that is budgeted for, since it may shortly be gone.

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