Teresa joined more than 50 MPs and eleven national charities backing a national campaign to retain the Social Fund, which is an essential grants and loans system for low income households. Teresa added her name to Early Day Motion 1633 which urges the Government to re-think their proposal to transfer emergency funding for people on low-incomes to local councils without ring-fencing it.
Teresa’s key concerns are:
- Localising the Social Fund and making it discretionary for local authorities to provide could lead to a post code lottery and leave low-income families without bank accounts nowhere to turn except high cost lenders or loan sharks
- Families who have faced upheaval due to hospitalisation, homelessness or a crisis like domestic violence won’t receive help to enable them to get back on their feet
- At a time of substantial pressure on local authority resources due to public sector cuts there may be no other options for financial assistance.
In March Teresa also criticised the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith for including plans to scrap the Social Fund in the Welfare Reform Bill, whilst the consultation on its replacement was open until mid-way through April. Her speech on this topic is available here.