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Iain Duncan Smith: direct payments to remain for refuges

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Iain Duncan Smith: direct payments to remain for refuges

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Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government, Universal Credit

Iain Duncan Smith: direct payments to remain for refuges Iain Duncan Smith: direct payments to remain for refuges

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has told MPs that domestic violence victims will see their housing benefit paid directy to their refuge under Universal Credit.

Mr Duncan Smith was yesterday quizzed in Parliament by Tory MP for Meon Valley, George Hollingbery, who asked IDS to reassure those concerned that the 'direct payments to claimants' policy under Universal Credit would be waived in such cases.

It follows concerns by Women's Aid back in August that the proposal to pay claimants directy could have a detrimental impact on the provision of refuge services.

Mr Hollingbery said: "The Government have made it clear that although they are keen that most people should be able to deal with the direct payment of housing benefit, that will not be appropriate for all. Will my right hon. Friend reassure the House, and those outside who are concerned about women’s refuges and their futures, that direct payment may be waived in those circumstances?"

Mr Duncan Smith said: "My hon. Friend raises a very important issue. We are already in discussions with such groups and have made it clear that anybody suffering domestic violence will immediately be taken through the system and the money will be paid directly. The refuges, as we have already said, will get their money and there will be no hesitation. That is an absolutely critical area and it will be provided for completely by Universal Credit."

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