§ 43. Mr. Hooley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will now as a matter of urgency extend payment of family allowances to the first child.
§ Mrs. Castle
Child benefit, which will replace family allowances and extend to first and only children, will be paid from the earliest practicable date, April 1977. This is a very big task which includes, as would extension of the present family allowances scheme, taking claims from 3 million one-child families. However, from April 1976 one-parent families may qualify for child interim benefit, which in effect extends family allowances to the first child in such families.