Monday, 24 January 2011

Icy wind of benefit cuts starts to blow

Just a warning to parents who qualify for the £500 per child (as it was) Sure Start Maternity Grant, that it's being restricted to the 1st child from today.
It had been available for any new babies.
This is an early blast of the cold wind of benefit cuts which blows through the country from April, when Housing Benefit will be cut back.
Sure Start Maternity Grants are designed to help with the costs of having a baby, such as pushchair, cot, clothes and other equipment.
The reduction applies from 11th April, but a grant can be claimed from 11 weeks before the week in which a baby is due. So the legislation is being brought into force from today, 24th January.
Each week of delay is thought to cost the Treasury £1.4m. It's planning to save £73m a year from the reduction. Around 150,000 fewer grants will be paid out.
The Sure Start Maternity Grant is available to people on certain benefits and tax credits.
By the way, if there's another child in the household who is over 16, then you should still be able to get the grant. Plus, if your baby is due before 11th April, you are still likely to be able to apply for the grant and get it, even if you have other children.

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