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Financial Support (Pregnancy)

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 11 July 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the merits of providing financial assistance to low-income families during pregnancy; and whether there are any plans to provide any such financial support. (82824)

Statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance and the Sure Start maternity grant provide financial support for low-income families during pregnancy. Statutory maternity pay and maternity allowance are worth £108.85 a week for up to 26 weeks, and may be taken from 11 weeks prior to the birth of the child. The Sure Start maternity grant is worth £500 per baby and may be claimed from the 29th week of pregnancy. The Government also run the welfare food scheme, which provides free milk, infant formula and vitamins to pregnant women on low incomes.