Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Letter: Whose benefit?

Sir: Why is the Government targeting single mothers yet again ("Ministers to take harsh line on single mothers", 10 February)? Alistair Darling seems not to realise that bringing up children is hard work on behalf of society, the more so if it is done without a partner.

Of course single mothers should be helped with state-provided, quality child-care if they want to work. But why not encourage them with extra child allowance to do a good job if they want to stay at home with their children?

Why also the drive to force people to work who do not have the capability to use the help on offer to find work? Their self-esteem is going to be further undermined by the pressures proposed.

Some 1.3 million unemployed and 2.8 million on disability allowance; these are the casualties of an uncaring, materialistic, "something-for- nothing" society. Ask not how to force them to work for society; ask why society is not working for them.


London NW6