Single parents who work benefit more

Lone parents who receive child support payments are nearly twice
as likely to have a job as those who receive no payments from
former partners, new research reveals.

Nearly three-quarters of lone parents who are in work received
child support payments in 2001 compared with only 40 per cent of
those who are out of work, the study found.

Co-author Alan Marsh, of the Policy Studies Institute, said the
change in 1999 to the working families tax credit had given parents
who receive child support more incentive to work by abolishing the
tax on maintenance payments.

The fact that lone parents were now on average older and less
likely to have children younger than five had also increased the
likelihood that they would have jobs, he said.

“But we also found evidence that there is still a bias in the
receipt of payments towards the middle class, better-educated lone
parent,” Marsh added.

“The young, single never-married, who are about a quarter of all
lone parents, rarely get maintenance.”

Nearly one-third of lone mothers were receiving child support
payments in 2001.

About half of child support payments to lone parents made through
the Child Support Agency averaged £49 a child, compared with
£59 for those paid under court or voluntary agreements.

‘A summary of Family Change 1999 to 2001’ from



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