§ Mr. Rendel
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many lone parents were consulted before(a) regulations abolishing the lone parent benefit premium were laid and (b) the Social Security Bill was published. 
§ Mr. Keith Bradley
As part of the formal consultation process, representations about the proposed changes to lone parent benefits were made by a wide variety of organisations, including those representing lone parents, to the Social Security Advisory Committee. Similar points have been raised in our regular discussions with lone parent organisations and through correspondence received from lone parents themselves.
These representations were reflected in the Social Security Advisory Committee's report, which was published on 30 July 1997 together with the Government's response as Command Paper 3713.