Health and Social Care Bill
Stephen O'Brien (Shadow Minister, Health; Eddisbury, Conservative)
The clause makes the health and pregnancy grant an excepted matter, and therefore outside the competence of the Northern Ireland Assembly. As we are discussing a matter that is applicable to England and, through the auspices of Welsh Ministers, in Wales, with a reference to Scotland from time to time, will the Minister tell us when pregnant mothers in Northern Ireland might expect to have the same opportunities and be under the same protection, in terms of their health and that of their unborn babies?
Ben Bradshaw (Minister of State (Health Services; Minister for the South West), Department of Health; Exeter, Labour)
This is the same system as applies to child benefit in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Assembly has approved the legislative motion for the Bill, including the health and pregnancy grant.