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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 July 2013

Privileged perks for Kate and Wills... Maternity cuts for us!

Suzanne Beishon (Expectant mother)

The Finland government has generously sent Kate and Wills one of the maternity 'boxes' given to all expectant mothers in Finland since the 1930s.

Many attribute one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world to these boxes. A box currently includes clothes, a sleeping bag, eco-nappies, outdoor gear, bathing products for the baby, bedding and a small mattress.

All designed to aid children's start in life no matter what background they are from. To receive a box, mothers visit prenatal clinics and doctors from the fourth month of pregnancy.

But while Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge benefit from what has become such a vital and celebrated part of Finland's welfare state, pregnant women in Britain face ever increasing cuts and insecurity.

On top of huge attacks to the welfare state and in particular the NHS, including the closures of maternity units and massive midwifery shortages, expectant mothers have seen an increasing number of attacks to rights and benefits that lucky Kate will never have to worry about.

Maternity payments

The below inflation 1% rise in statutory maternity payments, meaning a cut in real terms, comes coupled with cuts to maternity and child benefits.

The Health in Pregnancy Grant was scrapped in 2011. This was a universal 190 payment made in the later stages of pregnancy.

The 500 Sure Start Maternity Grant for parents on low incomes to assist with the cost of a new baby was restricted from 2011.

Child Benefit was frozen from 2011 and has been cut where one parent earns between 50,000 and 60,000 (if a parent earns above 60,000 they get nothing).

Following cuts to the childcare element of tax credits, from 80% to 70% of childcare costs, almost a quarter of mothers have had to give up work.

A study from 2005 showed that 30,000 women lost their jobs each year as a result of pregnancy discrimination.

But now new charges for employment tribunals mean that unlawfully dismissed expectant mothers face paying 1,200 to make a pregnancy discrimination claim.

So while Kate is able to put her feet up and reap the benefits from Finland, have their 'flat' refurbished by the state for 1 million, receive gifts of organic baby food, have three parking spaces outside their private hospital suite (5,500 for the first 24-hours and 1,000 for every extra day, not including doctor fees) suspended for the whole of July and many other perks of marrying into the parasitic royal family, most expectant mothers face a very different reality.

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In The Socialist 10 July 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Miliband dances to Tory tune

Unite meets roadblock in New Labour

Stop Gove's school profits plans

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Strong support for fighting socialist alternative in CWU

Lobby the TUC for 24-hour strike!

PCS Young Members Network forum

Werrington Royal Mail dispute

The costs of privatisation - to the workforce

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt: Morsi removed - polarisation grows

Portugal's government on the ropes again


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Are you sick of... Low pay?... Zero hour contracts?... Job insecurity?... bullying bosses?...

Lifting the lid on the bedroom tax horror

Birmingham Labour councillors' promises

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Rebel councillor faces further suspension

Fund the fight for a socialist alternative to capitalist austerity


Readers' comments

Privileged perks for Kate and Wills... Maternity cuts for us!

Unite and Labour - it's time for a rethink!

Inside the banking system


Socialist Party feature

Piper Alpha: The price of profit -167 workers' lives


Socialist Party review

Review - The Pitmen Painters


 

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Related links:

Maternity:

triangleWeakened Tories forced into Northern Ireland abortion u-turn

triangleInternational Women's Day

triangleNewham council challenged over 1.8 million cut workers' pay

triangleUK textile workers on 3 an hour!

triangleNewham council to sack up to 1,300

Cuts:

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Why Labour and Plaid councils must set no-cuts budgets

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Why we're lobbying the council for a no-cuts budget

triangleClosure of Nottingham unit shows dismantling of NHS

triangleUCU members balloting for action on pension cuts

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triangleTV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act

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Benefits:

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triangleTwo in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

Women:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: 100 years of voting for women of property

Childcare:

triangleTories out! Corbyn can win with socialist policies

Welfare state:

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: The fight for the welfare state

Family:

triangleThem & Us

Royal Family:

triangleEd Balls: 'Speaking Out' for capitalism

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