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One-Parent Families

Volume 894: debated on Monday 23 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will list the recommendations of the Finer Report which she has accepted, stating for each what action has been taken to date.

The recommendations in the Finer Committee's Report cover a wide field involving both local authorities and a number of Government Departments. Of the recommendations for which my right hon. Friend is responsible the following is the information requested—the numbers refer to the recommendation number in Part 9 of the Report:—56—statistical data relating to one-parent families receiving supplementary benefit has been published in Social Security Statistics 1973 (HMSO).119—lone parents under 18 receiving supplementary benefit in their own right who are not householders now receive automatically the full adult non-householder scale rate.121—supplementary benefit disregards will be increased from 17th November 1975.122—lone fathers with sole care of dependent children under 16 living with them and receiving supplementary benefit are no longer required to register for work.126—the proposed child benefit scheme will provide a tax free child allowance which will replace family allowances and progressively replace child tax allowances.157—when considering the amount of rent which can be accepted as reasonable the Supplementary Benefits Commission will give special consideration to the difficulties of one-parent families in finding accommodation.158–161—rent will be paid direct to the landlord more readily when the householder is receiving supplementary benefit and is experiencing difficulty in paying the rent.170—the Supplementary Benefits Commission will take the initiative in advising claimants with mortgage liabilities that the building society might be willing to accept payments of interest only.174—when claims for exceptional needs payments are being considered the Supplementary Benefits Commission will take account of the special difficulties of one-parent families in furnishing a home.188–191—the value of research, information and counselling services for families is recognised and as resources become available their development will be encouraged.194—the need for further guidance to local authorities will be considered when the current expenditure restrictions can be relaxed.195—there are continuing consultations between the Supplementary Benefits Commission and the local authority associations.196—consultation between the Supplementary Benefits Commission, the local authority associations and charitable interests will continue as issues of mutual concern arise.

197–205/207–208—expansion of day care facilities is being encouraged but rate of implementation depends on availability of resources.

209–210—additional provision of day-care services for children over five is limited by available resources.

212–213—progress in expanding domiciliary support services is restricted while present resource constraints continue.

221—future demand for mother and baby homes has been considered by local authorities in the course of preparation of ten-year plan.

226—health and local authorities are now setting up the joint consultative committees which they are required by the National Health Service Re-organisation Act to appoint to ensure close co-operation between their services.

227—the Community Relations Commission has been invited to undertake a study of the special social needs of ethnic minority groups.

228–230—already introduced to some extent in current family planning practice and possibility of further guidance for young people under consideration.