§ Mr. Frank Field
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will provide an estimate of the public expenditure saving as a result of the changes proposed to the maternity benefits including the abolition of the maternity grant, (a) in total and (b) for each benefit.
§ Mr. Newton
[pursuant to his reply, 16 January 1986, c. 699]: As regards maternity allowance, I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Squire) on 16 January at column 698: I shall let the hon. Member have a further reply when the information is available. The net effect on public expenditure of replacing the maternity grant and supplementary benefit single payments for maternity expenses with payments from the social fund will depend on how much would otherwise have been spent on single payments in 1987–88—for which precise estimates are not available—and on the likely cost and number of social fund payments for maternity needs, on which I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Dunfermline, East (Mr. Brown) on 20 December at column 436.