Lone parents encouraged to get back to work

The
Government has announced a £100m package to get lone parents in to work.

Lone
parents will get extra cash in their pockets if they look for work and get a
job under an innovative package of measures announced in the Budget this week.

Lone
parents that find work will receive an extra £40 a week, while those looking
for work will get an extra £20 a week social security. Housing benefit
reductions will now start from 16 hours instead of 30 hours a week in a bid to
encourage lone parents into employment.

A
mentoring package tailored to give lone parents in six of the UK’s biggest
cities – including London, Leeds, Birmingham and Glasgow – the confidence to
return to work will also be launched.

Secretary
of state for work and pensions, Andrew Smith said the new measures were aimed
at removing the financial barriers that might inhibit lone parents from looking
for and finding employment.

“This
£100m package shows the Government’s commitment to helping lone parents into
work. It gives them a choice and opens up opportunities for a better
future," said Smith.

“The
lone parent employment rate has already risen from around just 40 per cent in
the early 90s to 54 per cent – this is the first time it has been more than 50
per cent in 20 years. I believe these new measures will help us increase it
even further."

“We
will be piloting a bonus for lone parents when they get a job of £40 a week for
the whole of their first year in work. This is real help where it is needed
most – in people’s pockets,” he added.

By Paul Nelson

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