One third of lone parents’ children lived in severe hardship in
1999, according to a report by the Policy Studies Institute.
The survey of 5,000 families took place just before working
families tax credit replaced family credit. It found that as in
1991, there remained a serious gulf in welfare between families who
have a parent in work and those with neither parent working in
Six out of 10 lone parent families were unemployed. More than
eight in 10 children in non-working households had parents who were
unable to afford basic necessities, were in debt, or in poor
Many families living on income support could not sustain a
standard of living consistent with good health and family well
being. Among working families the rate of severe hardship was
halved among those receiving family credit and was rare among those
earning even a little more.
Family credit helped often poorly qualified parents to get and
keep paid work and helped relieve some of the hardship typical of
life on income support, it says.