In his speech to the Conservative party conference, Chancellor George Osborne announced a freeze on a range working age benefits. However, maternity and paternity pay is exempt from this change and will continue to rise by 1% per year.
Commenting, NCT chief executive Belinda Phipps said:
“It will be a relief for expectant parents across the country that George Osborne has not chosen not to freeze maternity and paternity pay. However, even a 1% annual increase means that it won’t keep up with prices and will make it harder for many new parents to make ends meet.
Research commissioned by NCT earlier this year revealed that the 1% limit in annual increases to maternity pay will result in it being worth over £220 less by 2015. Statutory maternity and paternity pay is currently £138 per week, a hundred pound less than the minimum wage."