Great news for working parents!
Chancellor George Osbourne is set to announce a tax break of up to £2, 000 for working parents in tomorrow’s budget. It’s not a lot, but it’s more than was expected and surely, in the current economic climate, every little helps right?
The new scheme which will replace the existing employer backed voucher scheme will see parents opening a childcare account where they’ll pay up to 80% of childcare costs while the government makes up the remaining 20%.
Parents are expected to make savings of approximately £2, 000, an increase from the initially proposed £1, 200 and it will apply to all children under the age of 12.
The move is thought to be part of an effort by the conservatives to woo parents by helping with childcare costs, an issue that has been proven to be of great concern to voters.
A recent report showed that most Britons on an average spent more on childcare than their mortgages annually. British parents also pay more for childcare than any other country in the EU.
Barnardo’s assistant director of policy and research, Jonathan Rallings, said research showed that poorer children could find themselves 15 months behind by the time they started school.
“Today marks a victory for the UK’s most disadvantaged children, on which the Government should be congratulated,” he said.
“We now look forward them boosting the nursery premium over time so that it eventually reaches the same level as the Pupil Premium.”
As usual, Labour had doubts about the timeliness of the proposals. Talking to the Evening Standard, Shadow minister for children Lucy Powell said: “David Cameron has cut support for children and families by £15 billion since he came to office.
“And today he confirms that no help will arrive until after the election. This is too little too late.
“Of course any childcare support is welcome but this Government has done nothing in this Parliament to help parents experiencing a cost-of-living crisis.
The Prime Minister who made a joint appearance today with deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg defended the proposal saying, it would “help millions of hard-pressed families with their childcare costs and provide financial security for the future”.
Don’t make any plans for those savings yet though, as they are not coming into effect until after the elections.