Letter: Single parents

Sir: May I, in connection with the row about restricting payments to single parents ("Labour revolt threatened over cut in lone-parent benefit", 21 November), make an outrageous suggestion?

I think single parents should be split into two categories, the deserving and the not so deserving. Single parents who are so because their partners have died or left them (after having committed themselves in the first place to sharing parenthood, either by marriage or otherwise) should receive state support sufficient to let them decide whether they want to work or stay at home to look after their children.

Single parents who are so through choice or carelessness should be expected to work, provided (and this is a big "but") the government can set up a nationwide properly funded and organised system of child care.

I am very willing to have my taxes used to support the first category, who are single parents through no choice of their own. But why should I support women who decide to have babies without the means or the partners to support them?