In reaction to David Cameron’s speech on families, Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser, NCT, says:
“We welcome many of the measures the Prime Minister announced today to support parents. We agree that the impact on relationships needs to be addressed in antenatal education and that adoptive parents should have the same rights as birth parents when it comes to adoption leave and pay.
"But if David Cameron really wants to support families, he needs to do more to help with the financial pressures that occur during the crucial first thousand days of parenthood - throughout pregnancy and until a child turns two. A first step would be to increase maternity and paternity pay so that they are in line with the national minimum wage.¹”
¹Recent NCT research shows that below-inflation increases to maternity and paternity pay mean new parents will lose out by £224 by 2015. The survey, ‘The distributional impact of maternity and paternity pay’, was based on IPPR analysis of Family Resources Survey data from March 2014. It found that under government plans to limit annual increases in maternity and paternity pay to 1%, by 2015 parents will lose out by around £224 throughout the course of their 39 weeks parental leave.