'Happy' Mother's Day from Cameron and Clegg - new mums £1,000 wo

Date: 3 April 2011



The shopworkers Union Usdaw is marking Mother's Day by highlighting the Tory-led Coalition's cut in support for families that will leave new mums over £1,000 worse off.



Women due to give birth from mid-April onwards will be a minimum of £1,035 worse off because of the Government's freeze on Child Benefit and the abolition of the Child Trust Fund, Health in Pregnancy Grant and baby element of Child Tax Credit.



Lower income families expecting a second or subsequent baby will be even worse off as the Government has also abolished the £500 Sure Start Maternity Grant for these families.



Usdaw member Lesley Marsden had her first baby, Taliesin, in June last year and has since returned to work part-time. Lesley commented:



"I think it's disgraceful the way the Government is cutting support to new mums such as the Health in Pregnancy Grant. Taliesin was born in June last year and the grant was a real help. I relied on it to help buy the big things I needed for my new baby such as a cot and pushchair. Luckily Taliesin just received the £250 Child Trust Fund in time before the Government cut and then abolished it. I would never be able to afford a savings account for him otherwise."



New mum and Usdaw member Yvette Roberts-Booth added:



"Baby Kai was born in September and I am currently on maternity leave from my job as a cook. Having a baby and raising a family costs a lot and I don't think it's fair at all that working parents are paying the price of reducing the deficit. Now I'm on Maternity Leave, I wonder how we survive financially. Next week the baby element of Child Tax Credit will be abolished and that will make it even harder for us to make ends meet."



John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary added:



"Over three quarters of our members juggle paid work with bringing up children and many of them rely on in-work benefits to make ends meet. Labour introduced a range of measures to ensure new mums and their babies, especially those on lower incomes, got the best possible start in life and it is a massive mistake by the Government to now remove that support."



"Adding to the financial pressures on new mums by taking £1,000 off them surely nails the myth that this is a Government that wants to be family friendly. Once again, it is those on the lowest incomes and the most vulnerable in our society bearing the brunt of the Government's unfair and reckless cuts."



Notes for Editors:


1. The table below summarises some of the key cuts in support to new mums:





1 January

Child Trust Fund abolished

£250 less for all babies born from this year onwards

1 April

Sure Start Maternity Grant for second plus baby abolished

£500 less for lower income families

6 April

Baby element of Child Tax Credits abolished

£545 less for families with babies under one in April 2011

Child Benefit frozen

£50 to £120 less for all families depending on the number of children

Health in Pregnancy Grant abolished

£190 less to families with a baby due after mid April 2011

2. For more information on Usdaw's campaign to raise awareness of the government's tax and benefits changes visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/adviceresources/resources/equalities/spcinthedarkaboutbenefit.aspx


3. Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest trade union, with over 395,000 members. Usdaw is the country's fastest growing trade union; membership has increased by more than 15% in the last four years and by over a quarter in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.



SOURCE: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/newsevents/news/2011/apr/happymothersdayfromcameron.aspx



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