Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for new mums between now and 2016 will be uprated by just 1 per cent – a real terms cut. Figures verified by the House of Commons Library show that, this year, new mums can expect to receive £53.64 less in SMP than if their entitlement had been increased using the Consumer Price Index.
It’s estimated that 3000 new mums across the Sunderland area will be affected by the new ‘Mummy Tax’.
New mums have already faced the scrapping of the Health in Pregnancy Grant; the restriction of the Sure Start Maternity Grant; and the scrapping of the baby addition to the Child Tax Credit. Figures compiled by the House of Commons Library have now confirmed that low paid new mums will lose £1,300 during pregnancy and the baby's first year from cuts to pregnancy support, tax credits and real terms cuts to maternity pay. They are also losing a further £422 from cuts to child benefit over the same period.
Bridget Phillipson MP said:
“Families shouldn't have to pay the price of the government’s failed economic policies.
“Working mothers already face tough financial pressures and now will find it doubly hard to make ends meet due to the ‘Mummy Tax’.
“The government should listen to families across Wearside and up and down the country and support them rather than penalise them.”
The ‘Mummy Tax’ explained:
Instead of being uprated by CPI, in the years 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16, Statutory Maternity Pay will be uprated by just 1 per cent – a real terms cut. Figures verified by the House of Commons Library show that, this year, new mums can expect to receive £53.64 less in Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) than if their entitlement had been uprated using CPI. By 2015, new mums will be receiving £180.11 less in SMP than if SMP had been uprated by CPI.
Local statistics on the number of new mums in the Sunderland area this year have been estimated using ward-level birth statistics for 2011 provided by the ONS. National averages of multiple birth rates (rounded to 2%) have then been applied to estimate the number of mums due to give birth (for the first time, or to an additional child) in the constituency. Please note this is not an indication of the number of new mums who will be affected by the ‘Mummy Tax’. Nationally, on average, 86 per cent of all mothers (who have worked at some point in the 12 months before the baby’s birth) receive SMP or Maternity Allowance (MA), and 53 per cent of all mothers receive only SMP or MA, with no additional occupational maternity support. However, statistics on the number of mothers who have worked at some point in the 12 months before the baby’s birth, or on the take-up of SMP or MA, at a constituency level are unavailable.
Nationally, up to 1.2 million people (including previous children and dads, alongside mums) may be affected by the ‘Mummy Tax’ each year. And an estimated 210,000 new mums (or over 60 per cent of those affected) will be hit hardest by the cap.
Labour launched it’s ‘Help mums not millionaires’ campaign on 1st March 2013. For more information please visit: www.labour.org.uk/mumsnotmillionaires