Today my bank balance was uplifted by £190.  Why?  I hear you ask – well, just for being pregnant, that’s it, simple as! 

So today I received a cash payment from the government called the “Health in Pregnancy Grant”.  Is it just me or does anyone else find this grant a very odd thing to be doing?  I think it is odd full stop.  Even odder when combined with the timing, mid recession, following the almost complete financial infrastructure meltdown of modern times, I think it is absolutely bonkers!  Am I alone here? 

This grant is not means tested in anyway, its blanket paid by cash transfer to pretty much anyone and everyone who is 25+ weeks pregnant.  Don’t get me wrong having spent two evenings of my life declaring my life and soul across 24 pages of application form to be advised my family was not eligible for child tax credits, I appreciate the simplicity of its criteria!  However I’m not sure cash lump sums are the way forward.  Don’t get me wrong I’m delighted to have some of my hard earned taxes returned to cover my expenses rather than those of our esteemed government ministers and their second homes.  For once it makes a pleasant change!  But I still don’t “get it” cash doesn’t provide any direction for expenditure.  I’m neither rich nor poor, our family works hard to be able to enjoy a comfortable life and afford nice things, holidays etc. and are proud of our efforts and the rewards they afford us. 

A month ago we began the re-jig of our house, its contents and its residents, to make room for baby number two (who remains no closer to being named anything other than “baby number two” in case you were wondering!)  In doing so some things were sold or given away to charity and some new items were purchased.  These included a new dressing table for yours truly… moi… me… myself and only I!  I have always wanted one.  Never seen THE one.  Then I saw it… AND… it was in the sale … double bonus… it was meant to be!  So I bought it!  I bought it for … £190 … oops – did I just spend my “Health in Pregnancy Grant” on a fabulous mirrored dressing table?  I think I quite possibly did!

Is this fabulous mirrored dressing table what the government meant when they said “The money is to help you with your wider costs in the run up to your baby’s birth.”?  I suspect not!  But said dressing table remains longer awaited than this baby and will never keep me up in the night nor vomit on me, it will be pain free in its delivery which is conveniently scheduled for next Thursday between 2pm and 6pm with all the hard labour being undertaken by men while I provide appropriate encouragement from a chair on the other side of the room!  Sound familar ladies?!

But whilst I hold my hands up and add this spending failure to my already long and ever growing list, I ask the question is it just me or is it that the UK government hasn’t really thought this one through here?  So UK tax payers, pregnant friends, and followers I’ve got mine and spent mine (many times over if the truth be told) … have you got yours?  And … more importantly how will you spend yours?  What do you make of this new “Health in Pregnancy Grant”? 

Looking forward to your thoughts, my dressing table & a healthy pregnancy and baby of course!

Claire x