SINGLE mothers should be given more incentive to find jobs rather than rely on hand-outs and welfare payments, a concern group said yesterday. A survey by the Ecumenical Grassroots Development Centre revealed that most of the female Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients wanted to earn money to support their families, rather than rely on public assistance. The centre's Family Concern Group for Employment found that the low permitted limit for disregarded earnings has discouraged the recipients from finding a job for themselves. Among 122 single mothers, 85 per cent said the limit of $1,210 was too low. The group said the recently increased limit of $1,615 was far from enough and it should be increased to $2,322, which was the average amount suggested by interviewees. Jobless single mother Wong Lai, 42, said she wanted to find a job and contribute to society. 'I would be much happier if I had a job and I do not want to be viewed as a useless person,' Ms Wong said. The survey also suggested that most single mothers viewed public assistance as a kind of temporary solution to support their family. More than 70 per cent of the recipients wanted to find a part-time job. Ho Wai-chun, 51, has been relying on public assistance since her husband died from cancer eight years ago. Ms Ho has appealed to the Social Welfare Department for help but they suggested that she go to the Labour Department for assistance. However, after registering at the Labour Department for more than four years, she has not had the offer of a single interview. Chan Yu, community organiser of the centre, said government departments were not sincere in helping recipients. 'They should not treat the recipients as 'balls' and just kick them to other departments,' she said. The group said it had been lobbying the Government to provide resources and venues for the single mothers to set up economic co-operatives, such as nurseries. 'By running the nurseries, they can earn money to support their families and also help other single mothers to look after their children, so that they can go out and work,' Ms Chan said.