§ Miss Richardson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services on what basis he estimates that there are at the moment abut 630,000 one-parent families as stated by his right hon. Friend the Minister for Social Security on 21st June 1977; and for how long this number has been growing at the rate of 10 per cent. a year.
§ Mr. Orme
I am sorry if the wording of my reply to the supplementary question by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Garston (Mr. Loyden) on 21st June—[Vol. 933, c. 1082–4.]—implied precise estimates. I used these "off-the-cuff" figures merely to illustrate the point that assistance to one-parent families is a growing problem if only because their numbers are increasing.
My hon. Friend will know from the report of the Finer Committee (Cmnd. 5629) that the total was estimated at 620,000 in 1971. This estimate was based on the 1971 Census of the Population. There has since been no comparable
Calendar Year Prescriptions Value £ Cheshire Executive Council Area— To 31st March 1973 6,562,691 4,388,394 1974 1,670,968 1,161,212 Cheshire Family Practitioner Committee Area— From 1st April 1974 3,977,081 3,130,983 1975 5,538,175 5,297,531 1976 5,787,558 6,898,774