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Young lone parents hit by reforms

15 February 2013

by a staff reporter

WELFARE reforms will hit young, single parents hardest, throwing thousands more children into poverty, charities have warned.

A report by Gingerbread and the Children's Society, Single Parents and Universal Credit: Singled out?, estimates that 240,000 single parents under the age of 25 will lose about £780 each year under the Universal Credit system.

Currently, single parents are exempt from rules that give under-25s a lower rate of support, but the Universal Credit, which is planned to be fully in place in 2017, will remove this exemption.

Universal Credit will replace existing benefits such as jobseeker's allowance, income support, and housing benefit. The Universal Credit reform went before a parliamentary committee on Monday.

Charities have warned that disabled single parents will lose out even more, as the severe disability premium is abolished. Severely disabled single parents, many of whom rely on their children to provide their care, could lose as much as £3000 a year.

Single parents are already twice as likely to live in poverty, the charities' research shows.

The director of communications and policy at the Children's Society, Lily Caprani, said: "All children need decent support - whatever their parents' age. So taking away some of this essential support because a parent is 19 or 24, instead of 25, doesn't make any sense."

The report can be read here.

Attitudes to disability. A new survey, published this week by the Christian disability charity Liveability, found that employers' attitudes were the biggest stumbling block to disabled people in the workplace. The report found that in 62 per cent of respondents, employers' attitudes were problematic. Liveability has launched a campaign, "Let Me Work".


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