§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to her answer of 23 January 1998,Official Report, column 737, if she will list the number of women receiving statutory maternity pay in the most convenient available bands showing the amount of maternity pay per week for the latest 12 months for which figures are available. 
§ Mr. Denham
The information requested is set out in the table.
Number of recipients of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), total amounts of SMP and average amounts of SMP by amount of theweekly earnings related portion of SMP for GB, 1995–96 £ Weekly amount of SMP (earnings related portion) Number in receipt of SMP(000s)1 Total amount of SMPmillions2 Average amount of SMP3 under 100 32 31.8 1,000 100 to 199 62 94.2 1,500 200 to 299 38 79.7 2,100 300 to 399 19 50.9 2,700 400 to 499 6 20.4 3,300 500 to 599 2 7.4 3,900 600 and more 3 14.9 5,100 1 Rounded to the nearest thousand. 2 Rounded to the nearest hundred thousand. 3 Rounded to the nearest hundred.
The figures are based on an estimate of those whose whole period of SMP is within the 1995–96 tax year and excludes those whose claim straddles two tax years. The total number in receipt of SMP in that year was around 321,000.
The Lifetime Labour Market Database (LLMDB) a 1 per cent.sample of the National Insurance Recording System taken at February 1997.
§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what reduction in expenditure would have resulted from limiting the earnings-related element of statutory maternity pay to the weekly earnings level implied by the upper earnings limit for national insurance in the financial years 1995–96 and 1996–97; and how many claimants of statutory maternity pay would have had their payment limited in each year. 
§ Mr. Denham
The latest available information is for the 1995–96 tax year. 11,000 recipients of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) (in Great Britain) would have had their earnings related element of SMP reduced if there was a limit on the amount of SMP paid equivalent to the weekly upper earnings limit on which National Insurance contributions are payable. The estimated savings made by reducing their amount of SMP to the weekly upper earnings limit would have been £9.6 million in 1995–96.