This is the 20th annual report on the operation of the Social Fund, which complements mainstream social security provision in two forms: a regulated scheme of maternity, funeral, cold weather and winter fuel payments; and a discretionary scheme for Community Care Grants and repayable budgeting and crisis loans. In 2007/08 £2.1 billion was spent on winter fuel payments which contributed towards the heating costs of 12 million pensioners. Around 243,000 families were awarded a £500 grant to help with the costs of a new baby. And over 1,800 payments were made to people affected by widespread flooding which occurred in Yorkshire and Humberside, south east and south west England during the summer of 2007.
This Command Paper was laid before Parliament by a Government Minister by Command of Her Majesty. Command Papers are considered by the Government to be of interest to Parliament but are not required to be presented by legislation.