HC Deb 21 July 1997 vol 298 cc478-80W
Helen Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate she has made of the number of single parents in Warrington, North who will benefit from the Government's welfare-to-work policy. [9212]

Mr. Keith Bradley

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State today launched the historic new deal for lone parents, fulfilling the Government's manifesto commitment to help lone parents get off benefit and into work. In the first phase, up to 40,000 lone parents will be contacted over eight areas throughout the UK and offered help in finding work. Up to 4,300 lone parents will be contacted in north Cheshire, which includes Warrington, North. The programme will be rolled out nationally from October 1998.

The new deal for lone parents marks a radical new approach to welfare and is central to our plans for long-term reform of the welfare state. A unique feature of the scheme is the use of new technology to help co-ordinate benefit, employment and career services. This will start in Cambridge and later roll out across the other areas. From today, lone parents will be given a helping hand up into work, not just a hand out of benefit. Lone parents on income support with school age children will get their own personal adviser who will help them develop their own individual plan of action on job search, training and child care. The personal adviser will explain how the lone parent can be better off in work than on benefit and help them with family credit.