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real lives Tuesday, 9 March, 1999, 20:00 GMT
A positive Budget for the lone parent
Name Julie Singleton
Married No
Children One, aged 5
Gross earnings 880pcm
Gross savings income n/a
Mortgage payments n/a
Pension payments n/a
Cars n/a
Car insurance n/a
Household insurance n/a
Beer 0 pints/week
Wine 1 bottle/week
Spirits 0 bottles/week
Tobacco 0 packets of 20/week
Petrol 0 litres/week

Julie Singleton, a single parent who lives in west London, has welcomed the majority of measures announced in the Budget.

After watching the chancellor's speech on television, she believes the Budget will help parents with low incomes.

On the whole, she should see her income benefit from the Budget by up to 2 each week.

In particular, Ms Singleton welcomed the increase in child benefit.

She said: "From my personal point of view, the Budget has benefited me as a lone parent.

"One interesting thing about it was that there are two special tax allowances, one for married couples and one for lone parents. That's worth 1,300 each year to me.

"Now the one for married couples has been replaced by child tax credit, I wonder whether the chancellor is going to abolish tax allowance for single parents."

Before the Budget, Ms Singleton had wanted the chancellor of the exchequer to turn his attention to the way the government is trying to get lone parents back to work.

She now believes measures to allow adults to return to education may help that.

Negative for unemployed parents

Ms Singleton said: "In a local group I attend, people want to go and further their education, by doing MBAs, and so forth, but the financial reason is just one of the reasons why they can't do it."

However, the Budget did not offer much respite for parents who are not working.

Ms Singleton said: "I think it was very negative for parents who aren't working.

"Although I may have benefited from it, 60% to 70% of lone parents are on income support and I can't see how it will benefit them.

"There was an element of emphasis on 2.4 children but I suppose that is what you would expect. "

See also:

26 Feb 99 | real lives
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