To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to make it easier for those drawing benefit to take a holiday; and what research his Department has undertaken into the number of families that do not take holidays because of poverty. 
We have taken action to raise the incomes of families, especially for those on the lowest incomes. To help children out of poverty, we have provided more support than ever before to enable parents to work, and to ensure that they are better off in work. As a result of our personal tax and benefit reforms since 1997, from April 2003, families with children are, on average, £1,200 a year better off, while those in the poorest fifth of the population are, on average, £2,500 a year better off in real terms.There are different rules and regulations for each of the various benefits, for example, relating to the length of the holiday and whether the holiday is taken within the UK or abroad. Some information is provided in leaflet GL29 "Going abroad and social security benefits", a copy of which is available in the Library.The Family and Children Study provides research into this specific area. Further details can be found in Vegeris S. & Perry J.,
Family and Children 2001: Living Standards and the Children, DWP Research Report 190, available in the House of Commons Library. In addition, my Department recently published Farrell C. & O'Connor W., 2003, Low Income families and household spending, DWP Research Report 192, also available in the House of Commons Library, that includes some analysis of the affordability of holidays for people in receipt of benefit.