asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Ravens-bourne (Mr. Hunt) on 29 January, whether he intends to (a) increase the value of the maternity grant to a realistic level and (b) make the grant non-contributory so that it is available to the women most in need.
My hon. Friend announced last week during the proceedings in Standing Committee E on the Social Security Bill that the Government propose making the maternity grant non-contributory in 1982. Consideration will be given to increasing the value of the grant when economic circumstances allow.