Date lodged: 26 May 2016
To ask the Scottish Government, in deciding to replace the Sure Start Maternity Grant, what assessment it made of the adequacy of the grant for assisting with the costs of a child.
Answered by: Jeane Freeman 15 June 2016
For the purposes of developing the Maternity and Early Years Allowance, Scottish Government officials have carried out an assessment of the cost of essential items for a new born child and shared these with stakeholders. We consider that these items could be bought with the £600 maternity payment that the Maternity and Early Years Allowance will make for first children. Officials have also sought opinions from users and potential users about their perception of the level of the current Sure Start Maternity Grant. Support with the overall or basic costs of having a child will continue to be met through a combination of benefits, many of which remain reserved and which make regular payments in addition to those planned by the Scottish Government on receipt of additional powers.