Lucy Powell, Member of Parliament for Manchester Central, has spoken out in the House of Commons about the rising costs of childcare.
Lucy is particularly concerned that the allowance of child care costs that can be claimed through tax credits has been reduced from 80% to 70%, losing a family with two children £30 a week or £1,560 a year. This affects many of the lowest-paid and most vulnerable families in our society. Leading a debate in Parliament, Lucy has called on the Government to consider how their policies are causing a childcare crisis that is affecting Manchester Central residents and wider communities across Britain.
Speaking in Parliament last week, Lucy Powell MP said:
"Why is debate so important now? First, families are being hit by a triple whammy of the Government’s making: rising costs of child care; reduction in financial support; and for many, a financial disincentive to work. I will say more about those issues shortly.
Secondly, not only were the Government’s recent announcements on changes to child care regulation—a loosening of ratios between carers and children, and a greater requirement for qualifications—not brought to the House for debate, they have been widely derided by parents and providers and are confused and dangerous. What is more, there is little evidence that those proposals will have any impact on costs whatsoever.
Thirdly, for many weeks now we have read in the papers and heard from Ministers—not least in the mid-term relaunch of the coalition by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister—about a new package of financial support for parents to help to meet the costs of child care, yet these proposals raise many questions. I would like to put them to the Minister this evening.
Finally, I would like to begin a broader debate—it is an important one for this House to have—about what the shape of future child care policy should be. It is vital to the economic future of the country that we enable as many women as possible—and, in some cases, men—to return to work at the level and pay they were receiving before having children. Not only would that pay for itself, but there would be wider social benefits to society from more early years development."