§ Mr. Willetts
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many lone parents on income support have been subjected to a sanction because they have failed to attend a personal adviser interview. 
§ Mr. Clappison
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many lone parents have had income support reduced as a sanction under the new deal for lone parents; and what provision is made for sanctions to be applied in the case of lone parents who attend interviews but decline to co-operate in the process of looking for work. 
§ Mr. Nicholas Brown
Sanctions are not applied under the new deal for lone parents as it is a voluntary programme. However, since April 2001, lone parents with a youngest child of school age (at least five years and three months old) have been asked to take part in a meeting with a personal adviser to discuss the range of help available to move into work when they make a claim for income support.
Lone parents currently claiming income support are being invited to a compulsory personal adviser meeting, on a rolling programme, starting this year with those with a youngest child of 13 to 15 years.
If lone parents currently claiming income support fail to attend a compulsory personal adviser meeting their benefit is sanctioned. This has happened in 362 cases up to 26 October. If the lone parent subsequently participates in a personal adviser meeting then the sanction is lifted. Lone parents are not required to take further action beyond participating in a personal adviser meeting.