Nappies (Cost)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 22 February 2024.

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Photo of Shirley-Anne Somerville Shirley-Anne Somerville Scottish National Party

I begin by recognising Monica Lennon’s long-standing work on the issue. She is right to point out that the baby box raises awareness of the benefits of reusable nappies, as well as providing a nappy voucher. Provision of that voucher is intended to help families to start using reusable nappies free of charge and also signposts families to the Scottish Government’s Parent Club website, which highlights the benefits of using reusable nappies and provides helpful advice and tips about nappy use.

The James Hutton Institute has commissioned research into the barriers to re-using nappies. The final report is expected by the end of March and I will be happy to ensure that I, or other ministers, provide that information to Monica Lennon if she does not have it to hand when the report is published.

I also ask Ms Lennon to join our calls on the United Kingdom Government for an essentials guarantee. It is not acceptable in this day and age and in this country to have benefit levels that do not allow people to buy the bare essentials of life. Whether those are nappies or baby formula, they are exactly the products that people should not be rationing, which is why this Government has asked for an essentials guarantee. I am disappointed that we have had no reply or commitment on that from the UK Government.