DWP keen to test community allowance

DWP keen to test community allowance
Clare Goff, NewStart

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has rejected Create Consortium’s proposal to pilot a community allowance scheme, but has asked it to put forward another, scaled-back bid.

Create submitted a right to bid proposal to DWP in January to test the concept of a community allowance in 15 pilot projects across the UK. The scheme would allow community organizations to pay local people on benefits to carry out part time work in their neighbourhoods.

DWP rejected the bid as it included those on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), who, it says, would not be eligible for a community allowance. It has asked Create to re-shape its bid to focus on those on Employment and Support Allowance and Incapacity Benefit.

The new bid will focus on three pilot areas and Create is now seeking lead community organizations as partners. It hopes to take a new bid to DWP before the end of August and expects a decision in September.

Create said that DWP is keen on the community allowance concept, and that it hopes to have a pilot scheme up and running next year.

Create will continue to lobby for the community allowance to be available to all those on benefits, including those on JSA.