§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the maternity benefit is sometimes used, not for the benefit of the mother, but for other family purposes; and whether his Department has taken any steps and, if so, what to ensure the proper application of this allowance?
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
It is laid down in the National Health Insurance Act that maternity benefit shall in every case be the mother's benefit, and must in all cases be paid to her. Under the present arrangements for the administration of the benefit, the amount once paid over to the mother is at her disposal, and so far as I am aware it is almost invariably used in meeting the various expenses consequent upon her confinement. So long as this method of administering the benefit is continued, I do not see what steps my Department could take to1498W control the method of application of the money by the mother.