Cash incentives to lure lone parents back to work

The Government has announced a £100m package to encourage lone parents to
take up work.

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

Lone parents who 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
will now be available to those who work 16 hours a week instead of previous
qualification of 30 hours a week, in a bid to get lone parents into employment.

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

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 40 per
cent in the early 1990s to 54 per cent this year – 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."

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