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Social Security Benefits: Parents

Volume 507: debated on Monday 15 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much funding her Department has allocated to increase access to (a) benefits and (b) back-to-work schemes for low-paid and unemployed adults with children in 2009-10. (320795)

The Budget 2008 introduced the Child Poverty pilots, which are jointly funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, and the Department for Work and Pensions. For 2009-10, the Department for Work and Pensions contribution is £9.7 million.

One of the objectives of the pilots is to look at new and innovative ways to support parents into and to remain in work, as well as helping those out of work. The pilots include outreach work for Jobcentre Plus around Children’s Centres and schools, as well as providing help back into work for those with younger children.

These are in addition to mandatory and voluntary programmes such as jobseeker’s allowance, Flexible New Deal and the New Deals for Lone Parents and Partners, active labour market interventions such as Lone Parent Obligations and Progression to Work and infrastructure measures such as child care investment. Financial support may also be available including working tax credit aimed at ensuring that work pays and In Work Credit to help make the transition into work.

From October 2010 the Department for Work and Pensions will be implementing an enhanced Better off in Work Credit so that everyone who has been unemployed for 26 weeks or more will receive an income of at least £40 a week more on moving into work. The credit is expected to be available nationally from January 2011.