Savings Accounts and Health in Pregnancy Grant Bill

Part of Parliament (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 6:35 pm on 26th October 2010.

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Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Conservative, Blackpool North and Cleveleys 6:35 pm, 26th October 2010

No, and the quote that I heard from the hon. Lady did not pass the quality threshold for the British Medical Journal and nor was it ever likely to do so, coming as it did from a press release.

It is also worth bearing in mind that we give other targeted interventions for pregnant women that are designed to assist them. The Minister has referred already to the Sure Start payment and the healthy start payment, and the latter is specifically designed to support women who wish to improve their dietary health by purchasing fruit, vegetables, vitamins and other things that will assist them. Interventions must be properly targeted and not just handed out. It is all very well to oppose this measure, but not to do so by reference to generalities. These proposals have to be considered in the round, and those Opposition Members who may not like this proposal need to suggest what they would do instead and how they would seek to cut the deficit that they have left behind.

This Bill is the start of something new and radical. I am a great fan of Ronald Reagan, the former President of the United States-as we all should be. He always said that he lived on the sunrise side of the mountain and I always try to do so too. Although my glass is often half empty, when I consider things I try to take an optimistic view, and I consider this to be an important measure. It says that-unlike the previous Administration -no longer will we pass legislation year after year without bothering to ascertain whether it achieves its purpose. We will pass legislation based on the evidence of whether what has gone before has worked and whether it assists in meeting the wider challenges of public policy that we face-both economic and social. I urge the House to support this Bill, not just because it will assist us in reducing the deficit, but because it introduces the concept of evidence-based, high-quality public policy making, and that is sorely needed in this country today.