§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what provision is available for poorer families to assist with expenses incurred in the arrival of a new baby, with particular reference to the purchase of new mattresses. 
§ Ruth Kelly
The sure start maternity grant, worth £500, is available to people receiving income support, income-based jobseekers allowance, working families tax credit or disabled person's tax credit, to help cover the costs of a new baby. Claims can be made at any time from 11 weeks before a baby is due until three months after birth, or up to three months after the date of adoption or parental order. Those claiming must submit a certificate signed by a health professional confirming that health and welfare advice has been received.
From April 2003, the child tax credit will create a seamless system of income-related support for families with children. Paid on top of child benefit, the child tax credit will provide a family element of £545 a year for all families with incomes of less than £50,000, plus a child element of £1,445 for each child or young person in families with incomes of up to around £13,000 a year. In the first year of a child's birth the family element is doubled, to £1,090.
From April 2003, the sure start maternity grant will be available to all parents who receive more than the family element of child tax credit.