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One-Parent Families

Volume 887: debated on Thursday 6 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many one-parent families currently receiving supplementary benefit have been receiving this for more than 12 months but less than two years;(2) how many one-parent families would benefit from a reduction of the qualifying period for the long-term addition to supplementary benefit scale rates to one year.

As at November 1973, the most recent figures available, about 50,000 one-parent families had received supplementary benefit for more than one year but less than two years, the very great majority of whom would benefit from a reduction of the qualifying period to one year.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the estimated cost of implementing the recommendation in the Finer Report on One-Parent Families that the qualifying period for the long-term addition to supplementary benefit scale rates should be reduced from two years to one year for families with children.

On the basis of the scale rates applicable from next month, the estimated cost for all eligible families with children is about £7 million. As we have already said, consideration will be given to reducing the qualifying period along with other improvements in supplementary benefit as resources permit.