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Lone Parents

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 26th March 2003.

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Photo of Karen Buck Karen Buck Labour, Regent's Park and Kensington North

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what barriers to work he has identified as facing lone parents in London more than in other regions.

Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Minister (Department for Work and Pensions) (Work)

Understanding how employment constraints facing lone parents in London compare to other areas is complex. We have commissioned research into this issue 1 and this research found that lone parents in London reported the same barriers to work as lone parents elsewhere in the country.

The three main barriers to moving into work reported by lone parents are availability and cost of child care, concerns about financial uncertainty on moving into work and the cost of housing and council tax. We have introduced a number of measures to help lone parents to overcome these barriers, including the National Childcare Strategy and Tax Credits, which are helping to make work possible and make work pay.

We are continuing to examine the problems lone parents face when moving from benefit dependency into work and finding ways of helping them to overcome them. The New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP) provides support tailored to the individual circumstances of lone parents, which takes into account any particular problems they face because of the area that they live in. NDLP has already helped over 160,000 lone parents move into work, including over 16,000 in London.

1 "Investigating Low Labour Market Participation Among Lone Parents in London: A Review of the Methods" by William O'Connor and Richard Boreham published in November 2002 in DWP's In-house Research Report No 104.

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