Newcastle North MP and Shadow Treasury Minister, Catherine McKinnell, has called on the Government to drop its plans cut maternity pay in real terms, in what has become known as the ‘Mummy Tax’.
From 1st April, the Coalition will uprate Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) by just 1% instead of by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), in the years 2013-2015 – which means that new mums will be receiving around £180 less in SMP by 2015.
And figures recently compiled by the independent House of Commons Library have confirmed that low paid new mums will lose £1,300 during pregnancy and their baby’s first year from cuts to pregnancy support, tax credits and the real terms cut to maternity pay. They are also losing a further £422 from the freeze to Child Benefit over the same period.
Speaking ahead of International Women’s Day tomorrow (8th March) and Mother’s Day on Sunday, Catherine said:
“We already know that women, who earn less and own less, are bearing the brunt of the Government’s cuts. In fact, of all the benefits and taxation changes announced by the Coalition since 2010, women will pay more than three times as much as men in order to bring the deficit down.
“This latest proposal – Cameron’s Mummy Tax – could affect around 1,000 new mothers in Newcastle North every year. Yet, on the very same day the Prime Minister is introducing his £100,000 tax cut for millionaires.
“We should be helping mums, not millionaires. And what better way of marking International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, than for the Government to admit it’s got this one wrong?”