HC Deb 08 July 2002 vol 388 cc773-4W
Vera Baird

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to make provision to enable lone parents to maintain stable child care arrangements during a period of temporary unemployment once the new tax credits have come into force in April 2003. [67244]

Dawn Primarolo

The working tax credit, which includes support for the costs of eligible child care, is designed to encourage people to take up work and to make work pay for low-income households. So entitlement to it will depend on working the required number of hours. It will be based on the hours normally worked by the claimant and will be able, as a result, to continue providing support for short periods when the claimant is unable to work their usual hours. It will also be able to cover short gaps between jobs.

For longer breaks in employment, we will continue to provide help through other channels, especially for lone parents who need to use child care. Lone parents can receive financial assistance through the Adviser Discretion Fund, where up-front child care costs represent a barrier to moving into work. From April 2003 there will also be a dedicated child care co-ordinator in every Jobcentre Plus district to help jobseekers with children to access information on child care provision in their area.

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