Sir: The Government should do its homework. Research commissioned by the previous Conservative government, and conducted by the Policy Studies Institute, has tracked 900 lone parents since 1991 and interviewed 3,600 others. What emerges from this work is that while only one in eight women with babies work, 40 to 45 per cent of mothers of 15 and 16-year-olds, and three out of four lone mothers with children who are 16-plus, have jobs. Workshy, or putting the emotional needs of the child first?
Social exclusion can be tackled - but not by name-calling and a reliance on simplistic solutions to highly complex problems. And certainly not by docking pounds 11.50 from new lone parents - why punish the many who are trying so very hard and why further restrict the lives of some of our very poorest children?