HC Deb 13 February 1976 vol 905 cc414-5W
Mrs. Chalker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will list in the Official Report the latest available estimates on the numbers of single-parent families; and if she will break down this total according to those who are (a) dependent on supplementary benefits (b) dependent on national insurance benefits and (c) in full-time work.

Mr. O'Malley

The Finer Committee estimated the number of one-parent families in 1971 as 620,000, mainly on the basis of the 1971 Census of Population. No firm estimate of the increase since 1971 is yet available but the number probably reached at least 650,000 in 1973.

At the end of 1974 there were 269,000 one-parent families receiving supplementary benefit and 99,000 receiving widowed mother's allowance. No figures are available for other national insurance benefits.

On the basis of 1974 Family Expenditure Survey data, which is subject to sampling error, it is estimated that about 220.000 single parents were in full-time work, other than self-employment. These estimates are not mutually exclusive since some widows in receipt of widowed mother's allowance may either be receiving supplementary benefit as well or be in full time work.