Today's broken record, "Single parent families on benefits can cost state more than £5million, says new report", from the Daily Telegraph, originates in a story from our own borough of Barnet, with the case study - there has only been one - done for the most recent Barnet council Future Shape report.
One wouldn't mind so much about this story, if the subject were at all representative, but as you will quickly deduce from reading the first and second paragraphs, the scare has been concocted from the experience of one family with a pretty unique set of "challenges":
According to an extreme case study put together by Barnet Council in North London - which focuses on an abused single mother brought up in care who has three children - the cost can be counted at £5,782,894.The Telegraph scare story is actually based on a longer story in the Daily Mail which, while reactionary, remarkably for the Mail, manages to be less alarming.
It assumes that neither the mother or any of the children ever do any paid work and that the children, like the mother, spend extended periods in state care.
Expect more stories like this in the run-up to the election. Actually, that being so very soon, this sort of thing is designed more for the post-election slash-and-burn season coming our way, if we cannot successfully resist all parties' cuts plans.