§ Miss Melanie Johnson
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment he has made of the benefits to the economy of policies which allow employment to be combined with family responsibilities. 
§ Ms Hodge
[holding answer 17 June 1999]Family-friendly policies can help to boost the economy by increasing the number of skilled people in the labour market, and increasing the numbers returning to education and training. These policies can enhance financial independence—specially for women—both immediately as they benefit from a higher standard of living, and after retirement as a result of building up a better pension entitlement. And these policies can help increase the sustainable level of employment, and improving productivity, leading to an increase in overall living standards.