asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will pay the £10 Christmas bonus to one-parent families in receipt of supplementary benefit.
Some one-parent families will receive the bonus because they are receiving a qualifying benefit—for example, widow's benefit. There would be great difficulties in identifying one-parent families generally and in any event no resources are available for such extensions of the categories receiving the bonus. As I said during the debate on the Second Reading of the Pensioners' Payments Bill on 13th November—[Vol. 958, c. 160–61]—the Government virtually scraped the bottom of the barrel of the Contingency Reserve to pay the bonus to the existing categories.