Savings Accounts and Health in Pregnancy Grant Bill

Part of Parliament (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 5:28 pm on 26th October 2010.

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Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 5:28 pm, 26th October 2010

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

The Bill does three things: it ends eligibility for child trust funds for children born from January 2011 onwards;
it repeals the Saving Gateway Accounts Act 2009, following our decision not to introduce the saving gateway scheme;
and it abolishes the health in pregnancy grant, again from January 2011. I will explain the detail of the measures shortly, but first I want to explain the rationale behind them, because they all have the same aim of helping to reduce Britain's budget deficit.

As my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer set out clearly last week, the Government have inherited an exceptional fiscal challenge. Last year, we had the largest peacetime deficit in our history, and we were borrowing £1 in every £4 that we spent. We are now spending £120 million a day just to pay interest on our debt. As the Governor of the Bank of England said last month, that position is "clearly unsustainable". Taking urgent action to tackle the budget deficit is clearly unavoidable.