§ Dr. Kumar
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he has taken to improve incentives for those with children to work; and how many people have availed themselves of them(a) in Middlesbrough and (b) in Redcar and Cleveland in the last year for which figures are available. 
§ Mr. Nicholas Brown
This Government believe that work is the best form of welfare for those who are able, We have introduced a wide range of measures including the Working Families Tax Credit to help make work pay and the National Childcare Strategy to help make work possible for people with children. Since April this year, lone parents can also get help with childcare payments if they take up part-time work through the New Deal for Lone Parents.
We are also easing the transition to work through a range of benefit run-ons. Lone parents benefit run-on was introduced in 1999 and in the year 2000–01 helped over 50,000 lone parents nationally. Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit run-ons have been available for a number of years and in 2000–01 were claimed by 140,000 people nationally. From April this year we have also introduced the Mortgage Interest run-on to help home owners moving from benefits to full time work. In the Middlesborough local authority district, 670 people claimed the Housing Benefit Run-on and 410 people claimed the Council Tax Run-on in 2000–01. Equivalent figures are not available for Redcar and Cleveland. The numbers of people taking advantage of other run-ons are not available broken down by area.