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Families: Multiple Births

Volume 697: debated on Monday 10 December 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will review the Sure Start maternity grant with a view to ensuring that higher payments are made to families expecting multiple births, to reflect their higher care costs. [HL687]

The Government recognise the higher costs to families expecting multiple births and provide a Sure Start maternity grant of £500 for each baby expected by, or born to, people on qualifying income-related benefits or tax credits. The payment of £500 per child is a significant and worthwhile contribution towards the costs associated with a new baby.

There are no plans to review the amount of the Sure Start maternity grant at this time.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they will review the eligibility criteria for the eldest child rate of child benefit, to allow multiple-birth families to receive equal payments for children of equal age. [HL688]

Since 1991, a higher rate of child benefit has been available for the first child. The Government continue to keep the first and subsequent child rates of child benefit under review.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they will review the baby element of the child tax credit with a view to ensuring that a higher payment is made to families expecting multiple births to reflect their higher care costs. [HL689]