Savings Accounts and Health in Pregnancy Grant Bill

Part of Parliament (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 6:03 pm on 26th October 2010.

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Treasury) 6:03 pm, 26th October 2010

My hon. Friend quotes the chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, but she could have also quoted the Royal College of Midwives, which said that there is an opportunity for midwives to communicate health advice to women and their families, as the grant is dependent on engagement with health practitioners. Never mind the cost of maternity dresses and other clothes, minerals, healthy eating, advice or taking time off work, these are important grants.

The Bill shows that the Government are out of touch with the needs of the vast majority of the British people. A £190 maternity grant may not seem much to some Government Members, but for the shop worker getting by on the minimum wage, it is a significant amount of money. For a woman with an unemployed partner, it might make a difference to the future health of their child. For those people, the grant makes a difference. Like the child trust fund, the grant is about investing in our future and in our children's health and in giving them a good start and ensuring that they have a break at the age of 18, to make their way in life with positive support.