New mothers will lose out under the Coalition’s new benefits bill

Working mums on maternity leave will lose £156 while caring for their newborn babies

New mothers stand to lose out on £4 a week under the Coalition’s new benefits bill, an impact assessment of the new legislation yesterday revealed.
 
The so-called ‘Mummy Tax’ is being introduced by the coalition as a part of broader plans to cap benefit rises at one per cent.
 
In the past, statutory maternity pay, which is available for 39 weeks, has increased in line with inflation.
 
Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities criticised the bill, saying: ‘New mums are paying a heavy price for George Osborne’s economic failure.
 
‘The Chancellor tries to pretend that he is targeting what he calls the work-shy. But now his own figures show working mums on maternity leave will lose at least £156 while caring for their newborn babies.’
 
Concern over the bill, which was going through its second reading in the House of Commons yesterday, has also come from Tory MP’s. Many in the party are worried that the bill targets parents and will contradict the government’s emphasis on supporting families.
 
Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, however defended the changes, saying they were necessary to pay for the defecit reductions. He also said that this one per cent cap on state benefits is the same as that imposed on public sector pay.
 
The one per cent cap will also apply to paternity pay, adoption pay, and maternity allowance.

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