HC Deb 22 November 1977 vol 939 cc662-3W
44. Mr. Ovenden

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will reduce the number of hours which lone parents are required to work in order to qualify for family income supplement.

Mr. Deakins

My right hon. Friends and I sympathise with my hon. Friend's objective but I am afraid it cannot be given immediate priority.

Mr. Canavan

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will make a statement on the Government's plans to introduce any further recommendations of the Finer Report on One-parent Families.

Mr. Orme

the Finer Committee made a large number of recommendations involving local authorities, voluntary organisations and other Departments as well as my Department. Many of these recommendations have already been implemented. As I said in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mr. Corbett) on 26th October—[Vol. 936, c.738–41]—further progress on others will depend on the availability of additional manpower and financial resources. in the field of family income support, my right hon. Friend and I will continue to give priority to two broad programmes: the phasing in of a tax-free child benefit and the regular up-rating of social security benefits. Child benefit will be increased in April to a standard rate of £2.30 for every child: and the premium payable for the first child in those one-parent families who are not dependent on social security benefits will be raised to .1. Those one-parent families who are dependent on social security benefits will benefit from this month's uprating. This will add over £100 million a year to the benefits going to one-parent families, which will now be running at a level of over—760 million a year.

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