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banner Monday, 8 April, 2002, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
Fran Creffield, single parent
Fran Creffield, single parent

Fran Creffield is 34 and lives in York. She is a single parent with three children aged 4 to 15.

She gets regular maintenance payments to help with household costs.

Fran says it would not make financial sense to get a full-time job unless it paid over 16,000 a year.

She doubts she will ever be able to afford a house of her own.

She recently obtained a degree in educational studies and is training to be a counsellor with Relate.


My Budget verdict


posted by Fran | 1628 BST | Send your comments

On the whole I was very pleased with the budget. Finally the government is waking up to the valuable contribution parents make to society.

Families are going to be substantially better off now the government has finally recognised the importance of the role of parents and provided more financial support to bring children out of poverty.

He's extended the benefits of working families tax credit so that single parents will be on a minimum of 6 an hour.

His plans to make work pay is very important to me personally because it is easy to fall into the poverty trap of not really being better off in work.

On a more national level I am pleased with the dramatic commitment to the NHS. I have often been worried in case one of the children fell ill and ended up waiting for months for treatment.

I hope this money helps reduce waiting lists and means there isn't such a substantial difference in treatment between those who can pay and those that can not.

Globally I am pleased to see that the chancellor is making big changes to encourage green technology and charging lorries for road use.

A cleaner planet will affect all of us and I have been very concerned about pollution levels as all of my children have suffered from chest problems especially when we lived in inner city Leeds. I want there to be a healthy planet for my children to inherit.

The only thing I would have liked to have seen personally would have been the increase in winter fuel payments extending to single parents as well as pensioners.


Beer and wine freeze
posted by Fran | 1628 BST | Send your comments

Good news that he has frozen duty on beer and wine because I do like a glass of wine occasionally.

I also think it is good that he has added 6p to a packet of 20 cigarettes because soon they should be out of the price range of teenagers.


Child benefit
posted by Fran | 1614 BST | Send your comments

Families are going to be substantially better off.

The government has finally recognised the importance of the role of parents and provided more financial support to bring children out of poverty.


Working families tax credit
posted by Fran | 1604 BST | Send your comments

He has extended the benefits of working families tax credit so that single parents will be on a minimum of 6 an hour.

His plans to make work pay is very important to me personally because it is easy to fall into the poverty trap of not really being better off in work.


Parental income
posted by Fran | 1602 BST | Send your comments

Very good that we will be guaranteed at least 70 a week more than on income support.


Healthy planet
posted by Fran | 1558 BST | Send your comments

I think it is wonderful that the Chancellor has made big changes to encourage green technology and is charging lorries for road use.

A cleaner planet will affect all of us. I want there to be a healthy planet for my children.

It is also very good that he has abolished tax on bingo players!


VAT fears
posted by Fran| 1505 BST | Send your comments

I saw on television that Gordon Brown was thinking about introducing VAT on children's clothes and shoes.

Apparently our VAT levels are not in line with those in Europe.

That was quite worrying - as a single parent shoes and clothing are already expensive for the kids.


Your comments

I'm pleased that there was no tax or road fund duty increase as getting to work by car is important as well as collecting children. Good news that working pays more than benefits - it's a good role model for children to have. Worried about increase on VAT especially on clothes and other essentials.
Sam, UK

I am a single parent with one child who is making the transition to school in September this year. At the moment I am earning 11,700 with a 610 top up with working families tax credit and my daughters' nursery fees are 624.75 per month.

I am perplexed as to how I can continue with my job when she starts school as all nurseries and child care in the area finish their day at 6pm and I finish at 5.30pm. An extra half an hour would save my career but I will have to give it up if this time restriction does not change - it is not all about the monetary status it has a lot to do with time management !!!
Rhian Gregory, England


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