Social Security Benefits: Lone Parents

Treasury written question – answered at on 5 March 2020.

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Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Attorney General)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the cost to the public purse of a parent in a single-parent household leaving paid employment and accessing benefits to look after their children, in each year since 2010.

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

It is not possible to make an assessment with the information available. Assessing the total cost to the Exchequer is highly dependent on the individual’s circumstances. If a parent in a single-parent household left paid employment and accessed benefits to look after their children, under Universal Credit their total claim would be dependent on the claimant’s age, where they live and their housing tenure type, how many children are in the household and whether they or any of their children have a disability. Depending on the level of previous earnings, it may be the case that the person would also be eligible to Universal Credit whilst they were in work.

The overall public spending impact will also include lost Exchequer revenues from any taxation paid (such as National Insurance and Income Tax) which is again is dependent on the level of previous earnings, and other circumstances determining their National Insurance category.

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