Letters: No jobs for single parents

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IT IS disturbing to discover that the Government is once again blaming the victims of its poor economic policies for their failure ("Lilley targets single parents", 13 August).

The number of single mothers working full-time has decreased from 25 per cent in 1977 to 11 per cent in 1993, which coincides with the period in which individual and family welfare payments have been cut in real terms. The social security bill has ballooned since 1979 because economic mismanagement has made more people than ever before dependent upon state support. All the evidence shows that single parents have been pushed out of the labour market in the 1980s because of increased competition from the rising numbers of unemployed.

Single parents take their child-rearing duties seriously and, in the absence of comprehensive nursery care, some feel unable to participate in the labour market and raise children at the same time. Single parents are just as likely to be among the most responsible parents in modern Britain.

Dan Johnson

Broadstairs, Kent