§ Helen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to introduce improvements to(a) statutory maternity pay and (b) maternity allowance. 
§ Maria Eagle
Regulations were laid before Parliament on 1 November whichamend existing regulations to improve the current arrangements for Statutory Maternity Pay and Maternity Allowance and;amend existing regulations dealing with Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit which are needed to take account of measures in the Employment Act 2002 which improve maternity rights and introduce new rights to paternity pay and leave and adoption pay and leave.These regulations are part of the package of measures developed to help working parents balance their work and family lives and significantly improve and extend the maternity payments made to pregnant and new mothers.My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on 24 October laid three draft Statutory Instruments which cover the improvements to maternity leave and the introduction of statutory adoption leave and pay and statutory paternity leave and pay.