§ Ms. Abbott
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will amend the draft income support regulations so as to exempt lone parents from the requirement to register as available for full-time work while they are in receipt of a dependant allowance; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Portillo
The present policy of exempting a lone parent only while there is a dependant child under 16 has applied since 1948 and it recognises that a parent in this position is no longer prevented from seeking work by the need to care for a young child and that it is generally in the person's own interests to seek work when in this situation. The requirement does not, of course, apply if the person is in one of the other exempted groups which are listed in Schedule 1 of the draft Income Support (General) Regulations—for example because she is over 50, has not worked for 10 years, has not been required to be available for work during that period and has no prospect of future employment.