LETTER : How single mothers manage their money

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your article "A mother's struggle in the heart of affluence" (10 February) raises a number of concerns for me as a single mother in the same financial position as that of Heather Moore.

I too receive Income Support to the tune of £17.65 per week. I also have a nine-year-old son and run a council flat. I do not have a car; and I am a full-time mature student, for which I receive no extra help to cover the purchase of books necessary for my course, exam fees and stationery.

The way you have chosen to portray Ms Moore's management of her funds is misleading and would lead the general "affluent" public into believing we single-parent families have excessive amounts of money to spend on food per week. I am sure very few recipients of state benefits are in such a luxurious position, and many would struggle to afford as much as £35 per week for food.

The majority of families in such a position do not sit "looking at four walls". We try to improve our lives and manage our funds more wisely. With my "food money" (£25 a week), I manage to shop frugally, feeding both myself and my son with meat, vegetables, fruit and other such "luxuries".

Yours faithfully,

D. A. SHORT

Guildford, Surrey

11 February

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