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Sinners? Scroungers? Saints?Unmarried Motherhood in Twentieth-Century England$
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Pat Thane and Tanya Evans

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199578504

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578504.001.0001

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A Finer Future?

A Finer Future?

Chapter:
(p.140) 7 A Finer Future?
Source:
Sinners? Scroungers? Saints?
Author(s):

Pat Thane

Tanya Evans

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578504.003.0008

The first thorough account of the work of the Finer Committee on One-Parent Families, set up by the Labour Government in 1969, reported in 1974. The most detailed study, then or since, of the past and present of single parenthood in Britain, its causes and outcomes. Examines the membership, the evidence, conclusions, and recommendations: the difficulties of mothers in being self-supporting, given gender inequalities in pay and work opportunities and inadequate childcare; of fathers, especially when low-paid and with two families; the inadequacies of the legal system and the benefit system; lack of suitable housing and continuing forbidding conditions in Homes. They recommended a new state benefit for lone-parent families, which the Labour Government rejected, though child support was improved. It led to lasting improvement in the legal system. From 1977 improved access to council housing for lone mothers.

Keywords:   unmarried mothers, illegitimacy, family history, welfare history, fathers, housing, child benefit, lone-parent benefit, Mother and Baby Homes

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