HC Deb 23 April 1996 vol 276 cc133-4W
24. Mr. Carrington

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what benefit changes he is undertaking to help lone parents to work. [24694]

Mr. Burt

The Government have a well-developed strategy for helping families, including lone parents, into work. Further measures are being implemented in the coming months.

From this month, the child care disregard in the in-work benefits has been increased from £40 to £60 a week. The back-to-work bonus and the child maintenance bonus will be introduced in October 1996 and April 1997 respectively. They will encourage part-time work and provide opportunities to build up a tax-free lump sum on leaving benefit for work. Also in April 1997 a major new pilot will commence providing training and employment opportunities to up to 25, 000 lone parents.

In addition, lone parents can qualify for other work incentive measures introduced this month, including extra help with housing costs on return to work, faster delivery of family credit and relief from national insurance contributions for their employer.