Saturday, July 13, 2024

MP quizzes Duncan-Smith on social breakdown

SOUTH BASILDON and East Thurrock MP, Stephen Metcalfe rose on the floor of the House to ask the secretary of state for pensions, Iain Duncan-Smith about help to tackle social breakdown.

Mr Metcalfe asked: “What steps he is taking to tackle the causes of social breakdown?

Iain Duncan Smith (Secretary of State, Work and Pensions; Chingford and Woodford Green, Conservative)

“Last week we published the social justice outcomes framework, which has a set of indicators that highlight our priorities: to eradicate family breakdown, educational failure, worklessness, addiction and crime, and to grow the social investment market—a big area for us. The framework will measure our progress towards achieving these aims, shifting the policy focus and spending towards outcomes rather than inputs.

Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock, Conservative)

“Can my right hon. Friend tell the House how projects supported by the innovation fund will tackle social breakdown?

Iain Duncan Smith (Secretary of State, Work and Pensions; Chingford and Woodford Green, Conservative)

“Indeed I can. The innovation fund was set up by me when I came into the Department. It consists of approximately £30 million of seedcorn funding to enable voluntary groups, charities and organisations—beyond the normal organisations that one comes across in the work process—to show that their programmes, which help people to deal with drug addiction, family breakdown or gang violence, actually work, to prove that concept, and to set them up to be able to run those programmes.

“At least 11 social impact bonds have come out of this and we have just launched a second round.”

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