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Number of one-parent families up by 23 percent

Number of one-parent families up by 23 percent

The number of one-parent families with dependent children has risen by 23 percent in the last decade, according to Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB.

"Under both Labour and National governments the number of one-parent families has continued to rise from 135,800 in 1996 to 166,400 today."

"Sixty nine percent of these families rely on a benefit."

"These figures are remarkably similar to those released in Scotland today, on the eve of the publication of the long-awaited Green Paper on welfare reform."

"Since 1997 the number of Scottish single parent families has risen by 24 percent. The UK has had a rise of 17 percent. Prime Minister Tony Blair has signalled that the Green Paper, released today, will put pressure on single parents to seek work."

"A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said that through the benefit system the state is promoting social instability and insecurity, and children are the ultimate victims."

"In this country the percentage of single parent families has risen from 7 to 30 percent in the last 40 years. While a causative link between the DPB and the steadily increasing number of one-parent families cannot be proven, clearly the benefit system must be a factor."

"We should take a keen interest in what the UK government proposes in today's Green Paper."

Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB ph/fx 04 562 7944

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