Date: 7 May 2014
Farewell to the safety net? Social (in)security and Local Welfare Assistance
Local Welfare Assistance (LWA) was introduced in April 2013. It is a general term for a range of policies that upper tier local authorities and the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales were given funding for by the Westminster government to relive the needs of people facing a financial emergency. It has recently been highlighted, however, that, at least in England, there have been problems in the development of LWA. Following a Freedom of Information request, The Guardian reported in April 2014 that: Councils sit on £67m in emergency help for poor. This finding was problematic because it suggested that people may be unable to access the support that they require at times of acute financial need. And this was at a time when, as the increase in the use of food banks and the increasing number of income poor people being pushed deeper into poverty by the Coalition government's programme of social security retrenchment, it might have been thought that local authorities would be inundated by demand.
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Associated departments and research centres: Law