Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Her Majesty's Government's aim is to introduce ethnic monitoring throughout the criminal justice system. Since the Royal Commission's report, monitoring has been extended to the police service and employment within criminal justice agencies. In addition, pilot trials are taking place on persons dealt with by the courts. Results from current monitoring and future plans are described in the recent Home Office report under Section 95 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 1999.

Income Support and Lone Parents

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): There were 940,000 lone parents claiming Income Support at the end of August 1999. The percentage of those lone parents where maintenance was arranged or in payment through the Child Support Agency was 13.1 per cent. Source: Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics: August 1999.

24 Jan 2000 : Column WA177

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What percentage of lone parents are now claiming Income Support; and what has been the change in this figure since 1989.[HL531]

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The table below gives a broad indication of the percentage of lone parents in receipt of Income Support from 1989 to 1999. Precise figures cannot be provided because the figures have been taken from small samples and will therefore be subject to a degree of sampling error.

Income Support Lone Parents as a Percentage of the Lone Parent Population--Great Britain 1989 to 1999:

YearLone Parent CaseloadPercentage of lone parents on Income Support


1. Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.

2. Figures for 1989-93 are based on a 1 per cent sample, figures for 1994-99 are based on a 5 per cent sample, and as such are subject to a degree of sampling error.

3. Figures quoted are for May of each year. A later figure for August of 1999 is available, when there were 940,000 lone parents on Income Support. This is estimated to represent 59 per cent of the total lone parent population.

4. *Those years marked with an asterisk exclude the unemployed who transferred to Jobseekers' Allowance with effect from October 1996.

5. The lone parents counted are single claimants, with dependants, who are not receiving the disability or pensioner premium.

6. Lone parent population figures used to calculate percentages correspond to the appropriate year of data, apart from 1997-99 when 1996 population forecasts have been used.


1. Income Support Statistics Enquiries, May 1989 to August 1999.

2. Population Trends Lone Parent Population Estimates, 1989-96.

24 Jan 2000 : Column WA178

Minimum Wage

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What would be the cost to the social security budget of failure to uprate the minimum wage in line with inflation.[HL539]

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: It is estimated that the cost to the social security budget of failing to uprate the main, over-21, rate of the minimum wage in line with inflation is £10 million at 2000-01 prices. Notes: 1. Estimates based on 1996-97 Family Resources Survey data, uprated to 2000-01 prices and benefit rates. 2. Estimates rounded to the nearest £5 million.

Reduced Benefit Directions

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many reduced benefit directions have been given under Section 46 of the Child Support Act 1991 and under subsequent regulations; and what have been the outcomes of these directions.[HL541]

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: We think it is right that lone parents should co-operate wherever possible in seeking maintenance from the non-resident parent for their children. Under Section 46 of the 1991 Act, if the parent with care fails without good cause to apply for child support when required to do so in accordance with the provisions of Section 6, a reduced benefit direction can be imposed.

The total number of reduced benefit directions made by the Child Support Agency during the period May 1993 to August 1999 was around 230,000*. Of these, around 89,000** parents with care have had deductions made from their Income Support as a result. Note: Figures rounded to nearest 1,000. Sources: 1. *CSA clerical statistics. 2. **Income Support Statistics Quarterly Enquiries: May 1993 to August 1999.

   Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page