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Child Benefit: Expenditure

Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the additional annual cost of paying child benefit from the 29th week of pregnancy from April 2009. (167652)

Child benefit can only be claimed after the birth of a child. There is no provision for child benefit to be claimed before a child is born.

The Government are introducing from April 2009 a separate payment to expectant mothers to help them during the important last weeks of pregnancy. Annual costs for the one-off payment, known as the Health in Pregnancy Grant, are estimated to be £145 million. In the first year they will be higher at approximately £175 million. These estimates have been updated to take account of Office for National Statistics 2006-based national population projections published on 23 October 2007.