asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what benefit in cash terms he expects will be received by a female who has been working and paying national insurance contributions in January 1982 in respect of maternity provision; and how this compares both in amount and as a percentage with benefit received by a female in the same circumstances in May 1979.
In January 1982 the standard rate of maternity allowance will be £22·50 a week. There could also be title to earnings-related supplement of up to £14·00 a week but only if the relevant period of interruption of employment commenced before 3 January 1982. In May 1979 the rate of maternity allowance was £15·75 a week and the maximum rate of earnings-related supplement was £16–25 a week. Maternity grant of £25 would be payable in both cases. If the woman was entitled to the maximum earnings-related supplement, the amount paid to her in January 1982 would be, in cash terms, £4.50 more than that paid to her in May 1979, that is, about 14 per cent. more, not counting the maternity grant.