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Family Life

Volume 978: debated on Thursday 7 February 1980

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asked the Prime Minister what discussions she has had concerning the measures to support family life.

Much of my work, and the work of other Ministers, on economic and social policies is aimed at improving the position of families.

Does the right hon. Lady recall that under the previous Labour Government low-paid working families received rent rebates, electricity discounts, free school meals and transport, and occasionally clothing allowances from the local education authority? Is she aware that those benefits have disappeared under her Government and that she is making low-paid families bear the brunt of her policies? Will she at least give an assurance to the House that she will ensure that the next Budget contains a substantial increase in child benefit?

With regard to the hon. Lady's first point, she will be aware that it was my right hon. Friend who introduced family income supplement as a supplement to low-paid families. That carries title to a number of other allowances, such as rent rebates, or particular consideration with regard to school transport and school meals. With regard to family benefit, I must ask the hon. Lady to await the Budget.