Mothers and Pregnancy: Cost of Living

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 29 September 2022.

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Photo of Julian Sturdy Julian Sturdy Conservative, York Outer

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to help support (a) heavily pregnant women and (b) new mothers on statutory maternity pay with increases in cost of living.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Maternity Allowance (MA) is available to eligible pregnant women and new mothers who cannot get Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), such as the low paid and the self-employed. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has a statutory obligation to review SMP, benefits including MA, and pensions annually. The review will commence shortly, and her decisions will be announced to Parliament in the normal way later this year. Any new rates of benefits / pensions will become payable from April 2023.

More broadly, the government understands the pressures people are facing with the cost of living and has taken further decisive action to support people with their energy bills ahead of Winter 2022. The new “Energy Price Guarantee” will mean a typical UK household will now pay up to an average £2,500 a year on their energy bill for the next two years from 1 October, saving the average household in Great Britain at least £1,000 a year based on current energy prices from October. This is in addition to the over £37bn of cost-of-living support announced earlier this year which includes the £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households provided through the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

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