This is from the Eye’s edition for 22nd March – 4th April 2013:
When welfare reform minister Lord Freud handed the Social Fund – which gives emergency cash to benefit claimants – over to local councils, he brushed aside criticism and said councils could create “the kind of localist welfare provision they deem to be appropriate and necessary for their areas”.
But many are now contracting out their emergency cash help for the desperately poor to a computer firm owned by US billionaires.
The £178m Social Fund, previously run from job centres, gives small grants and loans to cover benefit claimants’ emergency expenses – to replace furniture after a house fire, say. Despite Freud’s claim that his plan would break bureaucratic centralism, Nottingham recently gave its £10.4m “welfare assistance scheme” contract to computer firm Northgate Information Solutions.
Northgate, which is set to win more such work for other councils (the…
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