Letter: Lone parent's plea

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The Independent Online
Sir: I urge your readers to consider the following points and to lobby Parliament against the proposal to abolish lone parent benefits on 10 December.

1. Lone parents are are embarked on years of unpaid and often isolating and demoralising work in bringing up childrenon their own. This work is done also on behalf of the absent parent. One person carries the responsibility and struggle where once there were two.

2. This marginalised group, in most cases, of women and children are living already on the breadline according to the Government's own analysis. This is supported by both statutory and voluntary organisations concerned with child poverty, and family health and welfare.

3. Why are working women discriminated against by the CSA? When will child care costs be included in the maintenance payments of the absent parent?

4. There will be a strong disincentive to work after April, as new claimant parents will be significantly worse off if they find themselves unemployed, their child care falls through, or they can't do the juggling act of being superwoman/man at home and in the market place.

5. Why are parents with under-school-age children being penalised with benefit xuts?

6. Where is this plethora of affordable or free child care provision? Why not wait and see if it materialises first? Current research on the success of the Welfare back to Work scheme have beenvery disappointing.

7. Instead of being so punitive why doesn't the Government congratulate lone parents for having the sense of responsibility for staying with their children in the first place, and the courage and stamina to carry on despite the abuse that is poured upon them.


Lewes, East Sussex