§ 29. Mr. Derek Twigg
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will make a statement on the action the Government have taken to improve the support for children through the social security system. 
§ Mr. Keith Bradley
In his Budget Statement, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer set out a number of measures for families with children. From November 1998, there will be a £2.50 increase in the under-11 child allowance in Income Support (IS), Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Housing Benefit (HB), Council Tax Benefit (CTB), Family Credit and Disability Working Allowance. From April 1999, Child Benefit for the eldest child and the family premium in IS, JSA, HB and CTB will be increased by £2.50.
Support for children will also be substantially improved by the introduction of a childcare tax credit which is designed to make support for children through the tax system more generous and more transparent.
In addition to these measures, increases in the childcare disregard for in-work benefits came into force from 1 June. The maximum disregard is now £100 a week for families incurring childcare costs for two or more children of qualifying age and the upper age limit for children has been extended by a year.