The delivery of ‘baby boxes’ to new mothers will give all children an equal start and help reduce infant mortality rates, according to SDLP Assembly candidate Mark H. Durkan.
Mr. Durkan said the SDLP plans to roll-out the boxes as part of a new ‘Strong Start Fund’ that will also contribute £500 towards long-term savings for every child born in Derry.
He said: “Every new mother here, regardless of background or income, would get a baby box from the government, which includes bodysuits, nappies, a sleeping bag and bathing products – as well as a small mattress that is placed at the bottom of the box and creates the baby’s first bed.”
Mr. Durkan said the £500 allocation will help tackle child poverty.
He said: “The SDLP is also pledging to give every newborn child here a ‘Strong Start Fund’ which will enable them to build for their financial future.
“We must do much more to tackle the frightening increase in child poverty and the worrying statistic that more than half of children here live in homes with no savings.
“The SDLP is therefore pledging to give every newborn child here at least £500 towards long-term savings which would be paid in two £250 instalments – the first one when the baby is born and the second when he or she reaches 10.
“We will also discuss with other parties the possibility of a third top-up at 16.
“It is simply unacceptable that in an economy as wealthy as ours that our children are still living in homes with no savings or assets. That ends now.”