HC Deb 23 March 1976 vol 908 cc89-90W

5 (Part)—The Supplementary Benefits Commission's policy of encouraging women to take maintenance proceedings has been abandoned in favour of a policy of explanation—already implemented. 55—The Registrar General is investigating how to make estimates of the numbers of one-parent families in Great Britain for the years in which no census information is available; the frequency of publication will depend on the reliability of the estimates it is practicable to make. It is hoped to publish some up-dated figures shortly. 56—Statistical data relating to one-parent families receiving supplementary benefit has been published in Social Security Statistics 1974 (HMSO). 57—Much demographic data for Great Britain is available and has been published: its improvement is a continuous process. 119.—Lone parents under 18 receiving supplementary benefit in their own right who are not householders now receive automatically the full adult non-householder scale rate—already implemented. 121—Supplementary benefit disregards were increased from 17th November 1975 and the part-time earnings disregard for one-parent families is to be increased again, from £4 to £6 as soon as legislation is possible. 122—Lone fathers with sole care of dependent children under 16 living with them and receiving supplementary benefit are no longer required to register for work—already implemented. 126—When the Child Benefit scheme is introduced in April 1977 it will provide a tax free child allowance which will replace family allowances and progressively replace child tax allowances. 157—When considering the amount of rent which can be accepted as reasonable the Supplementary Benefits Commission gives special consideration to the difficulties of one-parent families in finding accommodation—already implemented. 158–161—Rent is paid direct to the Landlord more readily when the householder is receiving supplementary benefit and is experiencing difficulty in paying the rent—already implemented. 170—The Supplementary Benefits Commission take the initiative in advising claimants with mortgage liabilities that the building society might verify payment of interest only—already implemented. 174—When claims for exceptional needs payments are being considered, the Supplementary Benefits Commission take account of the special difficulties of one-parent families in finding a home—already implemented. 188 to 230—These recommendations on the personal social services are generally in line with the Government's own views. Recommendations 195–196, 201, 205* and 228–230 have been implemented. The remainder are mainly for implementation by local authorities and voluntary bodies. Much is already being done by them but further progress will depend upon the availability of manpower and financial resources, which will be limited in the immediate future, and upon the local authorities' own priorities. This makes it difficult to give any firm commitment to a timetable. *The Childrens Act 1975, provides for regulations to be made to improve the supervision of private fostering.