Maternity pay would be increased by £1, 400 and mothers
would be able to chose whether to have this paid out over a nine
month or six month period if they want to return to work earlier
under Conservative party proposals launched last week.
Mothers currently receive six months paid maternity leave,
consisting of 6 weeks on 90 per cent of their wages and 20 weeks on
£102.80 a week, but the government has said that it will
extend this to nine months by 2007.
Speaking at Conservative headquarters party leader Michael
Howard also announced plans to give an additional quarter of a
million parents up to £50 week for every child under five
regardless of what childcare they use.
Other proposals include the creation of a network of clubs for
teenagers to give older children something safe and interesting to
do in the evening. Childcare charity 4Children welcomed the
“The need for safe and stimulating environments for
children doesn’t stop when children leave primary
school…and we know that many parents are very worried about
the lack of provision for over 11s,” said Anne Longfield,
chief executive of the charity.