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Income Support: Lone Parents

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many families claiming income support comprised lone parents who were (a) divorced, (b) separated and (c) never married in each year since 1992. (194790)

The information is not available. Data held on income support claims indicate whether a claimant is single or has a partner but not whether they are divorced, separated or never married.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the average number was of children in lone parent families claiming income support in each year since 1992; (194791)

(2) what the average number was of children in a lone parent family making an initial claim for income support in each year since 1992.

Information on people making a claim for income support, initial or subsequent, is not available. People can make a claim but may not be eligible, or may not pursue their claim and records are not kept on the number of claims people make.

As a consequence information on the average number of children in lone parent families making a claim for income support is also not available.

Available information on the average number of children in lone parent families who are in receipt of income support is in the following table.

Average number of children in lone parent families in receipt of income support

Quarter ending

Average number

May 1995

1.82

May 1996

1.84

May 1997

1.85

May 1998

1.86

May 1999

1.87

May 2000

1.89

May 2001

1.89

May 2002

1.89

May 2003

1.89

May 2004

1.89

May 2005

1.88

May 2006

1.87

May 2007

1.86

Notes: 1. Data are only available from May 1995 and by quarter rather than on an annual basis. 2. Data for May 1995 to May 1999 inclusive are based on a 5 per cent. sample and subject to a degree of sampling variation. Data after May 1999 are based on a 100 per cent. sample. 3. Data are for lone parents with dependant children aged under 16. Source: DWP Information Directorate 5 per cent. sample and 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.