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

My hon. Friend makes an important point. We need to look very carefully at where money is spent and ensure that it is spent wisely in pursuit of improving the life chances of children and young people. That is why, for example, our right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister announced recently that we will extend to all disadvantaged two-year-olds 15 hours of free nursery care. That is a very targeted way of helping children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their life chances. We have seen the pupil premium introduced, with £2.5 billion a year to help children from disadvantaged families. The coalition Government have set out plenty of measures that are focused on helping the most vulnerable in society. That is what we need to do in the light of this financial crisis: to target measures on those who need them the most, rather than simply opposing every cut for the sake of it, as the Opposition are trying to do.