As the Chancellor says he wants to reward work in his budget today he needs to spare a thought for the Lone Parents on JSA.
Government policy means that lone parents need to be actively seeking work once their youngest child is 5. But the recent proposal on childcare relates only to parents with children under 5. This seems illogical.
And welfare changes are actually making it harder for lone parents to get back to work, as they need to focus on the chaos they are causing (see previous blog) through the benefits cap, bedroom tax, council tax changes and fear of the erosion of the little money they have.
Key points to note in today’s Unemployment figures.
- Lone Parents on JSA up 3.5% in one month, from 148,745 to 154,015.
- Lone Parents whose youngest child is aged between 5 and 6 up by 1780. This is expected as it relates to the benefit changes,
But what is more worrying is that in every other age band Unemployment is still rising
- Lone Parents whose youngest child is aged between 12 and 15 up by 1130.
- Lone Parents whose youngest child is aged between 10 and 11 up by 550
- Lone Parents whose youngest child is aged between 7 and 9 up 950
- Lone Parents whose youngest child is aged four and under up 855
What we need is more affordable childcare and more flexible jobs, where the parent has the flexibility too, not just the employer.
Note. these figures lag a month behind the main unemployment figures so these are for January 2013.