Single parents 'struggle' to save for children

28 March 2007
The Treasury may not be doing enough to help single parents kick-start their child's lifetime savings early, new research from Engage Mutual suggests.

The Child Trust Fund is at the heart of the Labour government's policy of giving children a solid foundation for financial independence – but too many single parents are unable to take advantage of this savings haven, the study found.

Only one in six lone parents have managed to make regular payments into their child's savings account, far fewer than the 42 per cent of couples who manage to set something aside for their under-16s, the research revealed.

Moreover, those single parents who have been able to isolate money for the Child Trust Fund pay in just £122 on average, a third less than dual-parent households' £189 average.

Meanwhile, many lone parents will greet the government's latest policy announcement with trepidation – Work and Pensions secretary John Hutton has promised he will extend the New Deal for Lone Parents Plus scheme to a larger number of single parents but added that he is looking at proposals to "increase obligations on lone parents with older children to look for work".

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