The gains of free childcare for low income families will be wiped out by Government cuts to tax credits and other benefits warn the Liberal Democrats.
Changes in the Childcare Bill, which was in Committee Stage in the House of Lords yesterday, will be limited in impact by Government cuts and Liberal Democrat Peers tabled amendments to counteract this, and to expand the current system.
The Liberal Democrats amendments, tabled by Children’s Spokesperson Kath Pinnock, will expand free childcare to children between 1 and 2 years, and insist on a review of the impacts of the entirety of the Government’s changes on lower income families.
Liberal Democrats have made dramatic improvements in this area since 2010, extending free childcare for three and four-year olds to 15 hours a week and introducing it for 40% of two-year olds.
Speaking in the Lords, Liberal Democrat Children’s Spokesperson Kath Pinnock will say:
“The simple fact is that, for those on low incomes, those who most need the benefits of free childcare, all this good work is likely to be wiped out by Government cuts to tax credits and other benefits.
“The Prime Minister has already trailed that we will see cuts in Tax Credits in the last few weeks. That would mean families with two children losing up to £1,700 a year. Seriously diminishing the impact of any free entitlement.
“That is why we want to see a review of all of the changes the Government plans and what they mean for low income families. They should not be allowed to pretend they are giving great benefits to families, when in fact they are cutting support and making it harder for people to get into work.
“We cannot, and should not give with one hand and take away with another. Particularly when we are talking about children of low income families.”