There is a lot of publicity about the growing need for foodbanks, and our new reliance on charity to fill the holes in the welfare safety net. This report in The Independent shows that there is further a dramatic increase in people needing help from charities for other basic essential items of daily living,

When the social fund was scrapped in 2013  the DWP said: “We’re reforming the social fund because it is complex, over-centralised and poorly targeted, and replacing it with local provision to ensure this money goes to those most in need.” Local Authorities were given some money –  it is not clear that these amounts ever matched the DWP social fund that they were supposed to replace – and were asked to devise their own schemes, but the money wasn’t ring-fenced, and councils’ budgets were repeatedly cut. As a result, many councils have dramatically cut back the emergency grants and loans available, leaving charities to step in where they can.

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