Sure Start Maternity Grant to be cut
In a joint response today to the Social Security Advisory Committee, the Law Centre and Gingerbread NI urged the government not to proceed with cuts to the Sure Start Maternity Grant.
The government plans to limit the payment of a £500 grant to first time mothers only from January 2011. The proposals will disproportionately affect Northern Ireland which has a higher number of households with children than Britain and where 58% of births are to second, third or fourth time mothers.
The Maternity Grant has provided a buffer against hardship at a time of enormous expense for parents. Limiting the grant to first born children will create many difficulties for cash-strapped parents