HC Deb 09 December 1997 vol 302 c534W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what measures are being taken to ensure that the insecurity of employment does not act as a disincentive to work to those lone parents eligible for income support before 5 April 1998. [19847]

Mr. Keith Bradley

Independent research suggests that the average additional income for lone parents already in work and on Family Credit is over £50 a week above the estimate of their out-of-work income. Research also shows that lone parents want to work but face a number of barriers that prevent them from doing so. In particular, they need practical help with job-search, training and with finding and paying for childcare. The Government has provided all of this with the New Deal for Lone Parents and the National Childcare Strategy. This will help make the transition to work seem much more attractive to those lone parents who currently feel trapped in benefit dependency.

The Government has taken steps to preserve work incentives for lone parents who are already receiving Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance. Those who are receiving either of these benefits with the lone parent rate of family premium at 5 April 1998 will be able to claim the lone parent rate of Child Benefit after 31 May 1998 if they move off benefit into work.