Magazine article Public Finance

Grant Decision Sparks Concern over Hardship

Magazine article Public Finance

Grant Decision Sparks Concern over Hardship

Article excerpt

The decision to remove the ring fence from the Supporting People grant could fuel a rise in homelessness. campaigners have warned.

Supporting People, which provides housing-based support to help vulnerable people to live more independently, has been viewed as a success. The decision to take the grant out of ring- fencing, announced in April's Budget, prompted concern that services could be diminished over time.

But an inquiry by die Commons communities and local government select committee endorsed the government's decision. It said the financial flexibility that councils would gain was 'well worth having'. The MPs' report, published on November 3. said there was no need to place the programme on a statutory footing. It called instead for greater transparency and monitoring to ensure services were not eroded.

Paul Cony, public affairs director at the mental health charity Rethink and one of die witnesses questioned by the committee, said these safeguards would not be enough to protect sendees. …

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