Magazine article Public Finance

Benefits Threat to FE Students

Magazine article Public Finance

Benefits Threat to FE Students

Article excerpt

Mature students who receive Income Support may have to drop their courses under government proposals to cut Child Benefit payments and force lone parents back to work, Public Finance has learnt.

Anti-poverty campaigners have called for swift ministerial clarification over the use of education courses under the benefits regime, following plans to move lone parents off Income Support and on to Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) from next year. Unlike Income Support recipients, JSA claimants are obliged to actively seek, and be available for, work.

A green paper on welfare reform, published by Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Main in July, suggests switching lone parents to the JSA regime once their youngest child reaches the age of 12 from 2008, and seven from 2010.

Lone parents can currently claim Income Support until their youngest child is 16, and many study for a return to work. …

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