Chancellor must take action on childcare : Forsythe

South Down MLA Diane Forsythe has written to the Chancellor repeating the DUP’s call to increase the tax-free childcare contribution and to remove the cap in the upcoming budget statement.

By Diane Forsythe MLA

South Down

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The DUP MLA said, “Childcare provides critical infrastructure to the UK economy. Families are struggling to meet the costs of childcare, but the pressures on childcare providers are seeing facilities close and the availability of childcare reducing even further. If this continues it will inevitably have an impact across our economy, and particularly on the delivery of vital public services.

As the increase in minimum wage comes into effect, many facilities are having to increase charges to parents whilst others are having to take the difficult decision to close their doors. Affordable childcare continues to present a significant barrier to many people finding work and staying in employment.

Whilst the Northern Ireland Executive is taking action that will be led by the Education Minister locally, there is also a need for action at a national level and which can have an immediate impact. By increasing the government contribution to tax-free childcare to at least 30% and removing the cap in the budget statement it would not only provide a benefit to working families, but would also provide assurance to childcare providers that the problem is recognised and action will be taken.”

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