HC Deb 15 December 1997 vol 303 c72W
35. Mr. Gray

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations she has received on her proposals in respect of lone parent benefits. [19092]

Mr. Keith Bradley

Representations about the proposed changes to lone parent benefits were made by a wide variety of organisations to the Social Security Advisory Committee. These representations were reflected in the Social Security Advisory Committee's report, which was published on 30 July together with the Government's response as Command Paper 3713. Similar points have been raised in correspondence from hon. Members and members of the public. There were parliamentary debates on the family premium regulations on 4 November and 12 November and the change to Child Benefit was debated during the Committee Stages of the Social Security Bill on 18 November and at Report and Third Reading on 10 December. A record of these debates has been published in theOfficial Report.

Mr. Hawkins

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will make a statement on her proposals to help lone parents. [19073]

Mr. Keith Bradley

The Government's New Deal for Lone Parents is already operating in eight areas of the country, providing a personalised back-to-work service for lone parents.

My right hon. Friend The Chancellor announced on 26 November that from next April the New Deal for Lone Parents will be made available to all lone parents who make a new claim for Income Support. The New Deal will be available to all lone parents from October next year, at a cost of £175 million over the course of this Parliament. This included an additional £25 million, also announced by the Chancellor, to enable the service to be offered to those lone parents with a child under five who want to work.

In addition, we announced a £300 million initiative to extend out-of-school child care provision to every community.

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