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One-Parent Families

Volume 885: debated on Tuesday 28 January 1975

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39.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when she expects to introduce a bill designed to implement aspects of the Finer Report on One-Parent Families, which would improve their standard of living and their status.

My colleagues and I have indicated in response to Questions in the House the progress we have made in implementing the recommendations of the Finer report, many of which do not require legislation. As regards those for which I am responsible, legislation is now before the House to raise the supplementary benefit disregards. Other recommendations have been implemented without legislation, including some other improvements in supplementary benefit. The question of additional financial support for one-parent families generally must be considered in relation to the child benefit scheme, details of which will be announced in due course.

43.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the estimated cost of introducing family allowance for the eldest child of one-parent families in April 1976.

At the rate proposed for family allowances in the Social Security Benefits Bill the cost would be about £21 million a year before tax. Taking income tax at current levels into account and assuming clawback as for second and subsequent children the net cost would be about £11 million.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she is now able to say what action she intends to take to give financial assistance to one-parent families.

Easements have already been made in the supplementary benefit scheme in line with certain recommendations in the Finer Report. The increases in social security benefits in April and the doubling of the supplementary benefits disregard on part-time earnings later this year will help the large numbers of one-parent families dependent on these benefits; and family income supplement is also to go up this year. The question of additional financial support for one-parent families generally must be considered in relation to the child benefit scheme, about which I have already promised the House a statement.