Cash incentives to help lone parents back to work

Lone
parent jobseekers will receive financial help to encourage them to return to
work, under new government plans.

Andrew
Smith, secretary of state for work and pensions, said the payments are about
bringing down the barriers that stop people moving from welfare to work.

The
Work Search Premium will give lone parents, who have been on benefit for more
than one year, £20 extra a week for up to six months if they agree to look for
work.

In-Work
Credit will pay lone parents who get jobs of more than 16 hours a week an extra
£40 a week for the first year they are in work.

Both
new payments will be piloted in eight areas: Bradford; Cardiff and Vale; Dudley
and Sandwell; Lancashire West; Leicestershire; South East London; West London;
and Edinburgh.

In-Work
Credit will be piloted separately to test whether the payment encourages lone
parents into work by itself.

The
pilot schemes are scheduled to begin in October 2004will take place in central
London, north London, Leeds and Staffordshire.

Both
schemes are will run for two years.

By Quentin Reade

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