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Primarolo leads on Child Benefit Bill

Dawn draws on casework to extend support for 16-19s in training

Bristol South MP and Paymaster General, Dawn Primarolo, was busy in Parliament yesterday steering the Child Benefit Bill through its second reading.

Speaking after the vote, Dawn said: "Over the years, I've been contacted on countless occasions by young people eager to gain new skills, only to find financial obstacles in their way. So, naturally, I'm delighted that I've been able to draw on this constituency experience and help ensure the Bill successfully passed through this crucial stage".

At the moment 16-19 year olds are eligible for Child Benefit if they stay in full-time education, but not if they enter work-based learning. This Bill extends support to unwaged trainees and 19 year olds in training or completing a course, and provides greater flexibility to respond to future curriculum changes and policy developments. It will also ensure that young people in education or training on their 19th birthday are supported until they finish their course.

Last year, Dawn led a cross-government review of financial support for 16-19 year olds. Its report, Supporting young people to achieve, set out a package of short and long termr reforms to improve choice, ensure decent minimum income levels and improve access to the financial support system for 16-19 year olds. The Child Benefit Bill takes this work forward.

[13 January 2005]

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