Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Financial Services and Markets Act 2000: Review

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr Stephen Timms) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
2 Dec 2004 : Column WS42

A paper giving details of the outcome of the two-year review of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, which the former Financial Secretary to the Treasury announced on 4 November 2003 (Official Report, Commons, col. 28WS), is available in the Vote Office and the Library of the House, and is accessible at:

Supporting People Programme

The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker): My right honourable friend the Minister for Local and Regional Government has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government are today announcing the allocation to administering authorities of £1.715 billion for the supporting people programme in 2005–06: These grants are awarded to authorities to enable them to provide housing-related services to over 1.2 million vulnerable people in our society.

The supporting people programme was successfully launched in April 2003. Since then authorities have made good progress in managing the programme but there is work still to do. Findings from an independent review, inspections by the Audit Commission and other research work have shown that there are considerable opportunities for authorities to make efficiency savings in their programme and that some services are not delivering the quality of support that clients deserve.

We are addressing these concerns by requiring authorities to complete reviews of individual services by April 2006 and ensure that these offer value for money and are of good quality and strategically relevant. In partnership with local stakeholders, authorities are developing five-year strategies for their programmes and these will examine critically the services delivered and focus them on local need and strategic priorities.

Additionally, we are providing help and advice through capacity building programmes, and monitoring and support to authorities and providers. This includes projects to develop and disseminate best practice, a benchmarking programme, web-based support through Hub Services, and support to authorities struggling with their administration of the programme. We will also continue to work with authorities and providers to ensure that administration of the programme is effective and does not create unnecessary burdens.

As a preventive programme, supporting people contributes to a range of key government targets and objectives. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will be working closely with colleagues across government to ensure that the supporting people programme is better integrated with other support packages.
2 Dec 2004 : Column WS43

Throughout 2005–06, we will be developing the monitoring arrangements for the programme including measuring performance against three key supporting people performance indicators. We will use this data to establish baseline performance and will then look to authorities to deliver continued improvement in outcomes over time.

Early next year we will consult on the revised needs-based distribution formula which will provide the basis for allocating supporting people grant in the future. In the long run this could give rise to significant changes in current pattern of allocations between authorities and I recognise this cannot be achieved quickly. We have previously announced that under the spending review 2004 settlement the funding for supporting people in 2006–07 and 2007–08 will be around £1.7 billion. To
2 Dec 2004 : Column WS44
provide some further assurance to authorities about the pace of change I have decided that no authority should face a reduction of funding of more than 5 per cent or an increase of more than 10 per cent in either of these years.

This Government's ongoing commitment to the supporting people programme and our continued support to authorities and other stakeholders in the delivery of the programme will ensure the continued improvement in value for money and better use of resources in 2005–06 and beyond.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is also beginning today a consultation on the grant conditions for supporting people in 2005–06, which we are proposing to keep broadly the same as 2004–05. The consultation ends on 11 February 2005. We are writing to local authorities to inform them of their allocations.
2 Dec 2004 : Column WS43

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page