The Government is replacing fathers as single mothers depend on benefits to bring up their children instead, a journalist’s investigation has concluded.
Harriet Sergeant spent nine months exploring the world of Britain’s most disadvantaged youngsters and produced a report on her findings.
In it she contends that single motherhood is encouraged by the promise of benefits and rent-free accommodation.
And, she argues, with the state taking the place of fathers as the family’s main provider, more young men are growing up without a male role model.
As part of the study she interviewed a drug dealer on a Peckham housing estate who has five children by different mothers.
When asked why the women became pregnant by a man they barely knew, he said: “Women get money from the Government; men get eradicated.
“What do you need a man for? The Government has taken our place.”
Sir Norman Bettison, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, said: “We are talking here about the perverting influence of welfare. The more kids you have, the more money you get.”
A single mother with two children receives around £10,000 in annual benefits and a rent-free house, Harriet Sergeant points out.
Meanwhile, boys growing up without fathers knew they were missing out, her investigation found.
She spoke to a young man who had recently been released from prison.
“If I had a father, I would have got a good hiding and I probably wouldn’t be here now”, he said.
His 17-year-old friend, who is on the police list of top-ten troublemakers in his town, added: “You need a dad for growing up”.
And one boy who did have his father around said: “Everyone will give up on you, but a dad doesn’t because he’s your dad.”
The investigation reported a Prince’s Trust survey which said a third of 14-to-25-year-olds questioned did not have a parent whom they considered a role model.
More than half in the survey said they had joined a gang to acquire a sense of identity, and a quarter said they were in search of someone to look up to.
The Daily Mail investigation also highlighted that the number of male teachers has slumped to its lowest level in at least 20 years and that in primary school, 85 per cent of teachers are female.
It added: “This year, according to the latest research, one in three children who live with a single mother will spend less than six hours a week with a male role model – whether a father figure, relative or teacher.”