New childcare tax break to be announced by the Government today - what do you think?

(387 Posts)
JaneGMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Jan-13 10:06:36

David Cameron and Nick Clegg are due to unveil new childcare plans in a joint press conference today, with further detail expected to follow next week.

According to reports, families could be entitled to claim up to £2,000 per child every year from their tax bills, to cover the cost of childminders and nurseries as part of a new government scheme to help families.

The new measures will not be means tested, and will replace the current voucher and allowances scheme.

We'd be interested to hear what you think of these proposed changes, particularly in the light of the changes to child benefit which have been implemented today.

Thanks,

MNHQ

LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Mon 07-Jan-13 10:09:42

I guess it depends on the detail and how much better off we will be

Shesparkles Mon 07-Jan-13 10:11:46

I'd rather they didn't muck about with child benefit.

It's a smokescreen to take the attention off the changes to child benefit, which, lets face it,is only a matter if time till they lower and lower the salary threshold until it becomes means tested [cynical emoticon]

brainonastick Mon 07-Jan-13 10:15:20

Well, that's less than the current voucher allowance for 2 adults, assuming you are claiming for 2 children. So I'm not impressed.

It does make sense to have an allowance per child (are they going to restrict it for larger families though, like child tax allowances?). But it's nowhere near enough. £2k could be just 2 months worth of nursery fees for a full time child.

Tee2072 Mon 07-Jan-13 10:16:03

I would rather have vouchers than have to claim it back at the end of the year.

Why must they mess with systems that work to replace them with systems that are harder for the average person to do?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 07-Jan-13 10:16:05

I think it is a really good idea - and I say that as someone who uses no childcare and will lose CB.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Mon 07-Jan-13 10:22:58

So is this only for women then? I don't work, full time student, DH currently claims the maximum in childcare vouchers. Can I transfer this to him instead?

LexyMa Mon 07-Jan-13 10:33:24

Er, this is less good than the current offer if you have one child. I started claiming Childcare Vouchers in 2010, at the maximum £243/month from my gross salary - that's £2916 pa (tax saved £933). DH (Higher Rate taxpayer) only got round to claiming just over a year ago and so he gets £1484 pa (tax saved £623). Until today we also got CB = £1050. Total upfront saving/benefit = £2606. After tax charge = £1556.

DC2, due September, will not materially change the above figures, apart from that we will claim second child rate CB and pay it back in DH's Self-Assessment. Total upfront saving/benefit to us will be something just over £3k.

If you put childcare costs purely on the parents' tax bills, the saving on Employer NI disappears. The payment of the voucher during subsequent periods of maternity leave will presumably also disappear, because the income earned to offset to tax will be reduced.

Rubbish, in my view. And I also strongly disagree with the relaxation of monitoring and ratios for carers:children, especially in the early years.

threesocksmorgan Mon 07-Jan-13 10:34:25

it won't help people with disabled children as child care is more expensive

tilder Mon 07-Jan-13 10:43:35

Difficult to know if its good or not. It says up to 2k per year per child. So could be less than that. If I could get 2k for each of my children (we have 3) part of me thinks brilliant, while another part thinks that not only would that ne highly unlikely it would also be inappropriate.

At the moment we do maximum salary sacrifice, so roughly I reckon we save about £100 per month for a higher tax payer and half that for a lower rate payer, so for us roughly £150 per month or £1800 per year. If that is way out, please correct me. If the new deal saves me much less than that, I will be working to pay childcare. Not really what they are allegedly aiming to do.

I will watch this carefully. Having lost cb, I don't really want to end up bringing home less than it costs to work. I do want to maintain my career, but the existing costs (stress, guilt, less time with kids etc) is already high and this could tip the balance into becoming unemployed. In my line of work, being out for more than a year is career ending.

LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Mon 07-Jan-13 10:51:44

Just seen another report that stars its only for children under 5, don't the current vouchers help with 5+ as well?

LexyMa Mon 07-Jan-13 10:57:05

LovesBeing - currently vouchers can be used to pay for any qualifying childcare with the right kind of registration - so after school childminder, various summer clubs etc. I think up to age 16 although you might struggle to spend the whole amount once they're in school.

nannynick Mon 07-Jan-13 10:59:13

Until the details are announced we won't know what they are really proposing/going to do. Will it be any better than the childcare voucher scheme? Will it be available for everyone regardless of the form of childcare they use (childcare vouchers in England can only be used for Registered forms of childcare)? As ever with these things, until all the fine print has been read we will not really know if it is a good thing, or a bad thing.

Mosman Mon 07-Jan-13 11:01:15

Depends if you have a baby and a teenager you could use the vouchers to cover all of the baby and none of the teen. I'm guessing that can't happen under the "new scheme"

crochetcircle Mon 07-Jan-13 11:01:41

Why is it only for working women? This is the 21st century, there are quite a few men involved in childcare and families these days!!! Bloody Tories!

musicalfamily Mon 07-Jan-13 11:01:50

If it is for children under 5 that it is another cut in my view, as a parent of school age children grrrrrrrr

LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Mon 07-Jan-13 11:03:55

LexyMa that's what I thought.

So breakfast clus, afterscool clubs and school holiday schemes wouldn't be covered.

LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Mon 07-Jan-13 11:04:36

crochetcircle bet it will go to whomever claims the child benefit

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Mon 07-Jan-13 11:09:37

Is this being announced today? Fun! What's the betting that it's another way to screw families over.

MmeLindor Mon 07-Jan-13 11:12:41

I want to know why they are taking away an easily implemented and simple child benefit system and replacing it with ever more complicated systems of tax breaks and clawing back of benefits etc.

Yes, it is slightly unfair that there are people earning £££ and receiving child benefits, but I would like to know if this increase in bureaucracy will actually save the country money.

It would be far fairer to leave the CB system as it is. I don't use childcare so the tax break is useless to me.

rusmum Mon 07-Jan-13 11:27:09

What's happened to cb?

firawla Mon 07-Jan-13 11:35:46

So this is not means tested which means people can be on 50 grand each, still getting their child benefit and now get an extra 2k a year back now from this too
yet people with one earner on 60k, so an overall household income much less, and paying more tax too, will be getting nothing
this is a load of rubbish to me, how is it a new scheme to help families when families with a stay at home parent seem to be penalised

landofsoapandglory Mon 07-Jan-13 11:36:49

I think it would be nice if, for once, they would consider those of us with older children for a change. Many of us are in a state of panic about how we are going to afford to support our children through university. I would prefer it if they invested some money in helping with this, tbh.

Blu Mon 07-Jan-13 11:42:56

It would perhaps have suited us, a 2 income family, (though neither of us are on high salaries), and we did actually use the voucher scheme anyway.

Supporting the needs of working parents can only ever be a good thing IMO, making work and the cost of childcare affordable is especially important for women IMO because it always does seem to be the woman who steps off the career ladder with lifelong impact on future earnings.

HOWEVER if this is in place of cb it seems extremely unfair to favour working parents over families where one parent is a sahp, and it would have been better to have left CB intact.

CB could be spent on childcare by working families anyway. And they would have had this in addition to the voucher scheme.

Viviennemary Mon 07-Jan-13 11:44:25

I think the problem would be solved for families with one earner if that earner was allowed to claim the tax allowance of the non working partner. It does seem that one earner families are losing out quite a lot in this latest round of 'reforms'.

This doesn't seem any improvement on the vouchers - quite the opposite in fact. It's a real concern that it's under fives only and that it's so 'woman' focused. The government should be seeking to support working parents. It's so frustrating to have childcare publicly labelled as a 'woman's issue' only. It really isn't!

Pretty typical of this government though - trying to look 'fair' when actually they're screwing you over again.

I agree as well that something should be done for parents of university age children.

So basically they're just scrapping the tax break that working parents of school-age children get. A huge step backwards. Why the heck don't they just make anything paid on childcare tax-free? Wouldn't that be far more fair and simple to implement? I'd happily do my own assessment if I could claim back the tax on the thousands of pounds we pay for childcare.

It's still amazing to me that you can claim a chauffeur as a work expense and claim back tax but childcare is left out of the picture.

concessionsavailable Mon 07-Jan-13 11:57:25

OK so at the moment DH and I both claim £243 per month of vouchers. That totals £2913 each per year, £5,832 between us.

So this looks like a cut in our eligibility?

Wouldn't be the bloody first cut. I am feeling screwed on about ten different counts at the moment.

First, the total is a pittance compared to the £9,486 which we pay for the baby for a three day week at nursery (£62 a day). Then there is the cost of before and after school and holiday care for DD1 (no family help).

(Childcare costs crippled us so thoroughly that we left a 4 year gap between our two children so we would not have two in nursery.)

Then the childcare voucher rules were changed so DH, as a higher rate tax payer (just), would have to leave the scheme if he changed jobs and rejoin at a much lower rate.

Then, the nursery we hope baby will go to when over 2 decided to use the fact that DH was a higher rate tax payer to double their fees. (Council nursery).

Then I am on maternity leave at the moment and all the groups I used to go to with DD1 have been closed down due to Council cuts. They are replaced by private groups at £8 a throw <choke>

Then we lost our child benefit.

Commuting, energy and food costs are through the roof, and the baby has to stay in our room as we physically cannot fit a single bed and cot in DD1s room (London housing costs), but at least my parents and PILs are happily holidaying two or three times a year from their four bed houses and enjoying their WFA, massive housing equity, TV license etc etc

If this sounds whiny, it's because I feel whiny, frankly. Watching Gideon Osborne crow about giving up his child benefit, when he is on a huge salary, plus trust fund, plus made so much money selling the home the taxpayer funded the equity in... AAAAAAAAAARGH.

Cheers you fucking Tories.

The comment on that Torygraph article are sickening. Loads of "why should the taxpayer subsidise your nursery place, you chose to have children", "women should stay home and look after their own children", "don't have children if you can't afford to put them in nursery" etc etc. Do these people realise we have the highest childcare costs in Europe? How narrow-minded and idiotic. Working parents pay tax. Nursery employees pay tax. Children are the tax-payers of the future; getting people into work through affordable childcare benefits everyone!

MmeLindor Mon 07-Jan-13 12:08:35

I would really love to see the figures on scrapping the whole voucher / tax credit scheme and investing that money in subsidised childcare.

Childcare in UK is horrendously expensive, and we have comparatively low wages and high housing prices.

For lots of women, this means not being able to work, as it costs them more to commute and pay for childcare than they can earn.

concessionsavailable Mon 07-Jan-13 12:13:46

Just in case anyone reading this quickly doesn't know how childcare vouchers work, I sacrifice £2913 of my salary and it gets turned into vouchers which are sheltered from tax. If I leave my job, any that I have accumulated (for example, while on mat leave), go poof.

It's an idiotically designed scheme but even the small amount of tax relief it gives us is massively welcome, at time when we're feeling completely screwed over.

I remember trying to explain to a Spanish friend my childcare costs. She practically fainted.

drcrab Mon 07-Jan-13 12:16:37

frankly, I think whatever they offer at the moment, we will all lose out. I claim the maximum £243/month and my nursery still takes about £600/month from my bank for fees. I look forward to the day when my daughter is out of nursery...(it's great btw, it's just the fees which are mindblowingly expensive).

I'm often amazed by people who get vouchers but don't realise they're not actually saving £245 a month by using them. You just don't pay tax on that £245. So you only save about £49 per month on a 20% tax rate, which is £588 per year. £2000 is loads more than that, BUT, if it's only for under 5s it will be a huge blow to working parents of school-age children.

thereonthestair Mon 07-Jan-13 12:20:48

I think there may be some advantage in this, although it will all depend on the detail. However for those of us who are self employed it may be good as vouchers depend on employment and childcare is not tax deductible.

Glittertwins Mon 07-Jan-13 12:21:01

Our two are now out of nursery. We both work and are enrolled in our employers' childcare voucher schemes as after school / holiday clubs are needed. Has there been any mention on over 5s yet?

I agree that if you could simply either use childcare vouchers OR get tax relief on money paid for childcare via self assessment than that would actually be helpful to families. They could chuck in tax relief on money paid for university tuition too - now that would be a vote winner! grin

concessionsavailable Mon 07-Jan-13 12:28:51

You're right Annie. They clearly don't look at their payslip. It also means people tell me that I am saving nearly £3k a year, erm, no I'm not.

Has anyone got a link to the part about there will be a change on claiming for over 5s, or is it just hearsay?

notnagging Mon 07-Jan-13 12:33:58

If it is true it will be good news but I suppose it depends on what they take away to pay for it!

minderjinx Mon 07-Jan-13 12:38:52

Does anyone know when the announcement is expected or where the details will be published?

notnagging Mon 07-Jan-13 12:39:19

"Rules could also be relaxed so that nursery staff can legally be in charge of more children, The Daily Telegraph understands. This could see nurseries expand and bring down bills for parents."
They are really not living in the real world if they think nurseries will bring down their fees.

The other problem is that if it is a tax break for the person claiming child benefit, does it assume that they are earning more than their personal allowance in order to earn enough to pay tax to be refundeed?

Under our current situation I only work 5hrs a weeks (and we juggle childcare), were I to say double my hours I would probably just be under the personal allowance levels, but would need childcare for ds. I wouldn't however be eligible for the tax break, however under the existing scheme dh could have claimed childcare vouchers, saving a significant amount. At the very least the person claiming CB should be able to nominate their partner for this tax break.

Also if it is not means tested, what about all those people earning over 50k who have deregistered for CB will they be eligible for this or not.

As ours are all either at school or preschool this would also have a significant impact if we were to put them into holiday club if they have the cut off at age 5, an age where lots oof previously SAHP might have been wanting to go back to work, this will be a disincentive to that group of parents.

Well done tories, yet another poorly thought through policy, if a bunch of parents on Mumsnet can see problems already why can't the people who are being paid to run the country?

"Well done tories, yet another poorly thought through policy, if a bunch of parents on Mumsnet can see problems already why can't the people who are being paid to run the country?"

^^this

Why isn't Mumsnet running the country? Seriously? We'd rock at it!!

MerryCouthyMows Mon 07-Jan-13 12:49:19

Not going to help people on NMW Part Time, is it? As they are below the Tax threshold.

All the voucher schemes etc seem to be aimed at high earners - but people working PT for NMW still need to use Nurseries.

OK, they currently get help with the costs through TC's, but that's going to drop significantly once Universal Credit comes in, as it will be counted in the cap, as an element of UC - so the lowest paid will lose their Child Benefit if they work in order to have help with their childcare.

This government is all about helping those on semi-decent wages, whilst hammering those on very low incomes.

latebreakfast Mon 07-Jan-13 12:57:02

All this will do is push up the cost of childcare and hurt those on lower incomes. Crazy.

I suppose it would be good for childcare tax breaks to be made available to those parents who can't currently get vouchers - as only certain employers make those available.

But reducing the benefits for people who currently get the vouchers seems like a bad idea, and would potentially discourage some people from working if it meant their "childcare costs vs. money coming in" equation got worse.

It's not clear from that article who the tax breaks would actually go to, it said "mothers" but that may be an assumption of the journalist rather than the actual policy. I would expect this would need to be available to single working parents of either gender, and to couples where both parents work and who need paid childcare to cover their overlapping work hours. But not sure how they would decide which parent within a couple should be able to claim the relief.

A cut-off at 5 years would also not be ideal, and again significantly worse for people currently getting vouchers (though better than nothing for those who don't get them).

There's always going to be an issue if you change from a system where the saving is up front - as with vouchers - to one where the saving is postponed as I assume it would be through the tax system? Presumably the tax relief will be given retrospectively as if you gave it in advance and the childcare costs changed a person could end up owing HMRC quite a lot of money........

TimberTot Mon 07-Jan-13 13:24:21

Reading the sparse details available indicates that it is thought the scheme would be funded by doing away with child-care vouchers.

Bloody marvellous that.......

So dh and I have just been the only couple amongst our group of friends to lose our child benefit despite having the second lowest combined income out of that group.

Now, as our dc are at school and over 5 we seem set to lose the tax break contribution towards after school clubs/holiday childcare whilst those with under 5's will, by some smoke and mirrors arrangement, be "helped" with their costs.

How much more do the coalition want to squeeze us financially as a family ?

Mark my words, no-one will gain anything here. It is just another misogynistic (sp) machination towards working outside the home not being financially viable for the lower earner of any couple which is usually the woman.

Until we are financially forced back into the role of domestic supporter of the main (usually male) breadwinner these kinds of schemes will be sneaked through parliament to our long term detriment.

I'm very pissed off atm and the constant financial squeezing and manipulation/cutting of support for middle income working parents is getting me down.

"We're all in this together" George and Dave say, but some of us are paying for the financial mess a hell of a lot more in proportion to our role in creating it.

As a family we didn't borrow large multiples of salary, we allowed for the effect of maternity leaves (albeit fairly short due to issues over job security). We didn't run credit card balances, we didn't buy on credit apart from the mortgage. We were prudent when the government of the day weren't despite talking about the concept in every major speech.

I never really believed that the Tories were entitled rich boys who treated women as a different class of citizen but I'm mad enough now to vote against them at the next election and I suspect there might just be enough of the squeezed middle to have that effect if they don't stop hitting the easy targets.

My parents will shortly be needing care too, oh that's going to cost £75,000 so any money they have accumulated through a life of being careful will pay for them to reside in a home alongside others who may have been feckless but the state will pay for regardless.

In two minds here.

As self-employed mother of pre-schooler twins the notion that I could finally start claiming some tax relief on our frightening childcare costs is tempting, and it would mean that I took on more work, pure and simple. So that makes sense for the economy.

But a lot depends on the detail, I don't agree with an under-5 cut-off, and the 'Mother's' pin money' connotations of some reports on this make me quite ragey.

And thank you Annie for breaking down the tax relief benefit of the pointless voucher scheme. I was getting a bit confused otherwise reading some posts on here.

What do you save as a higher rate tax payer eligible for just £124/month? I'm crap at maths

Narked Mon 07-Jan-13 13:30:50

'It's a smokescreen to take the attention off the changes to child benefit, which, lets face it,is only a matter if time till they lower and lower the salary threshold until it becomes means tested [cynical emoticon]'

^ This

TwelveLeggedWalk: I'm not entirely sure whether higher rate tax payers save 40%, since they don't pay 40% on their entire salaries. I could look at DH's salary but I'm not sure how it's all calculated. Perhaps someone else will know.

In theory, though, if you claim back 40% on £124/month, you would be saving 124*0.4*12 = £595/year.

I'm all for self-employed people and folks whose employers "won't do" vouchers making a saving too, as the current system is unfair on them. But any new system would have to be fair on everyone - all tax brackets, low and high earners, self-employed and parents of pre- and school-aged children. And, like I said before, just letting us claim back tax paid on childcare would cover all these bases!!

TimberTot Mon 07-Jan-13 13:36:10

And as for relaxing the adult/child ratio guidelines........

We want quality childcare not a return to victorian babyfarming !

FFS those guidelines are enforceable for a reason and who in their right mind believes that daycare businesses would pass any savings from relaxing the ratios on to the parents ! Cloud Cuckoo Land or what !

The end result would be lower quality childcare at the same fecking price with the business owner pocketing the difference (after paying more tax on it of course) plus less jobs available in childcare.

MNHQ - please get someone responsible for the patently ill thought out suggestions being trailed in todays papers on MN for a web grilling chat so we can set them straight - do they not do any research or talk to working parents at all ?

namechangerforaday Mon 07-Jan-13 13:36:53

You dont lose the accumulated vouchers if you give up work.

fijamez Mon 07-Jan-13 13:39:58

Another impact will be to pull more people into the bracket where they lose child benefit as Vouchers are generally provided via salary sacrifice and thus gross salaries will rise if scrapped

also agree that impact on parents where kids are over 5 is considerable if no subsidy etc for wrap around care/ afterschool/holiday clubs - perhaps they dont realise not everyone has a job which stops all summer and has 4 weeks off at christmas!

namechangerforaday Mon 07-Jan-13 13:40:26

And my question also is I will have £1000 worth saved, ready to put DC3 in playgroup in 2 years - what will happen to these

HelpOneAnother Mon 07-Jan-13 13:42:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HelpOneAnother Mon 07-Jan-13 13:43:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotAQueef Mon 07-Jan-13 13:54:14

I don't think this will affect my family as we don't currently use the voucher scheme. I am fortunate that mine and DP's employer offer salary sacrifice (with no limit) for nursery fees (there is a day nursery on site at the uni)
DP sacrifices around 11k of his salary to cover the annual fees and we save around £2700 (not sure of exact figures). In addition we receive a slightly discounted 'rate at the nursery for being staff.
I would hope the proposed changes will help more people than it will negatively impact, but based on recent evidence, I fear it won't sad

babymooner Mon 07-Jan-13 14:09:42

Anything that finally gives self employed a break has to be good news. No maternity pay, no childcare vouchers... it's really hard. So being able to put some childcare against tax is long overdue.

Strix Mon 07-Jan-13 14:11:17

"families could be entitled to claim up to £2,000 per child every year from their tax bills"

Does this mean I will get £2000 back per child? Or does it mean I will get the tax on £2000 back per child?

I think we are at real risk of encouring the cash in hand nanny (black) market with all that is being done to NOT support working families. You have to make an awful lot of money to be able to afford UK taxes and still eat.

I want all of my childcare costs (some £2000 per month) to be taken out of my income before I am taxed, and I don't want my pension contribution to be affected as they are with the current voucher scheme. If this was implemented, we would find a lot more nannies being paid on the books.

Notaqueef - the current tax relief is only available up to £243 ish a month. You might be getting £11k a year in vouchers but the sums are being done wrong if they're calculating his taxable income on gross minus eleven.

egdeh Mon 07-Jan-13 14:24:56

From what I read, it looks like this policy would cost us the whole of our 12 x £243 vouchers claimed by DH, to be replaced by nothing as I don't earn enough to qualify.
If we are entitled to the £2k per child, only our youngest would qualify, despite needing childcare for all 3 to cover before / after school. I am lucky to work part-time, flexibly, term-time only, so out-of-school care for us is far less than many will need to pay for, but this is at the expense of having given up both salary and responsibility to take on a role which allowed this.
So, personally it appears we will lose out financially (again!) and, if the reports of it being mothers earning £20-40k who will be eligible, it will also not help many lower paid / part-time workers, only those higher up the ladder, which seems perverse if the aim is to encourage women to return to work.

curryeater Mon 07-Jan-13 14:27:45

If it means you actually get £2k per child back, than it's better than the vouchers. If it means you can get tax back on £2k, then it's worse.
But the whole lot should be tax free. If you gross up what you need to earn to pay for two pre-schoolers in full time care, it makes you feel ill. (It makes you feel ill before you gross it up, then afterwards has you actually reaching for a bucket)

curryeater Mon 07-Jan-13 14:28:11

x-posted with Strix. Strix is right

AnnoyedAtWork Mon 07-Jan-13 14:32:45

I have a feeling I will be no better off or in fact will be worse off. It depends if the £2000 is savings made or tax deductible allowance. If the latter I will be worse off than currently claiming childcare vouchers. If the former I will be no better off. (1 child, I'm higher rate taxpayer, DP is basic, we both claim vouchers, but I get less)

I'm very disappointed thought this would be helping working parents more but in fact it is just a simplification of all the kinds of childcare help into one method and doesn't actually help at all.

AnnoyedAtWork Mon 07-Jan-13 14:35:18

I strongly believe all ccare should be payable out of gross income. It is an expense that is necessary in order to go to work!

Strix Mon 07-Jan-13 14:35:52

Thanks, curry.

And I do think whatever they announce will replace the vouchers because it would not be cost effective for the government to run two separate schemes.

I wonder if they might axe that ofsted quango in order to pay for giving me tax free childcare... hey, a girl can dream.

musicalfamily Mon 07-Jan-13 14:38:02

if they axe childcare vouchers, what happens to the money that is sat there (ie any accumulation) as most schemes will want to close? I hope you don't lose the money...

curryeater Mon 07-Jan-13 14:39:37

There are two separate things here:

Should child-care be tax-deductable? - yes, obviously, but completely, not partially

Does this off-set losses in CB? - only if you work and pay for childcare. Lots of people (especially the lower paid) have deliberately and painstakingly constructed lives which do not require paid-for childcare, because it is eye-wateringly expensive (shift working, reciprocal arrangements, family help etc). This is very unfair. It's like giving tax relief on champagne but not beer.

caramelwaffle Mon 07-Jan-13 14:42:26

How does this tie in - in detail - with the Universal Credit?

What happens with help for children requiring paid childcare age 5-15?

What forms of childcare is covered? Nanny? Au Pair? Nursery? Family?

Why not just have 100% tax deductable childcare for those in work?

floatyjosmum Mon 07-Jan-13 14:44:01

have to admit i got excited when i saw it but then read on and to me it sounds like they are going to replace the childcare voucher scheme and if this is the plan we are no better off.

Though to be fair, curryeater, some people are low-paid in jobs which don't have shift patterns nor family to help, and reciprocal arrangements aren't easy. I think this is why a lot of us are arguing for a universally fair system such as fully-tax deductible childcare costs, as this will cover all eventualities and situations.

curryeater Mon 07-Jan-13 14:46:46

That's true Annie - it is a truth universally acknowledged that some people will just have to pay for childcare in order to work and I am one of them - but it is still worth noting that those who don't are often struggling with great ingenuity within a system of very very expensive formal childcare, and they are being penalised for this resourcefulness.

olgaga Mon 07-Jan-13 14:48:45

It looks as though anyone who wants to be a full-time parent had better become a childminder - and look after the children of those who are lucky enough to find work!

NotAQueef Mon 07-Jan-13 14:48:51

HoratiaWinwood I am confused now ...
Our place of work offers this as a salary sacrifice benefit above and beyond the voucher scheme. I have just checked the example document they provided to us and the numbers seem right.
DP earns almost 40k and nursery fees are around 11k per year (I don't pay them so can't give exact numbers) so he is only taxed and NI'd on 29k of his salary
we definitely save more than £243 per month (I think ...)
I will go and have to check now.smile

That is also true. But if all childcare were tax destructible, they might be able to afford it, wouldn't have to struggle so hard to make arrangements that work.

drcrab Mon 07-Jan-13 14:51:54

NotAQueef - please check! I've just looked at my payslip (work at university too) and there's definitely a section called 'Childcare benefit' (£243)that's deducted from my basic pay. And then other deductions like Tax, NI, pension carpark etc...

NotAQueef Mon 07-Jan-13 14:52:05

Horatia I've just checked and the flexible benefit we use has no limits of the amount of salary which can be sacrificed (but not to below min wage)

NotAQueef Mon 07-Jan-13 15:02:53

Sorry for taking thread on a slight tangent.

"You will enter into a salary sacrifice agreement, whereby your salary is reduced by an equivalent amount to the Day Nursery fees. The fees are then paid directly from the University to the Day Nursery.

Info comparing normal childcare voucher scheme (also offered) with flexible benefit
Childcare voucher scheme
•Managed online direct with voucher provider
•Maximum amount that can be sacrificed is £243 per month
•The amount of vouchers can be changed online at any time, subject to meeting payroll deadlines
Flexible benefits scheme
•Administered by Human Resources
•There is no maximum amount that can be sacrificed (although salary cannot be reduced to lower than NMW)
•The salary sacrifice agreement cannot generally be changed within the financial year

LexyMa Mon 07-Jan-13 15:03:12

Beer is taxed? "Well, let them drink champagne!"

Or, how about employing a chauffeur who happens to have a level 2 NVQ in early years care.

<might as well be sarcastic. This non-policy is just a headline waiting for all of our reactions to help them flesh it out into something still pretty crap but not a totally regressive - like the 50-60k taper.>

AnnoyedAtWork Mon 07-Jan-13 15:07:18

Surely salary sacrifice can't be used to pay 100% of your childcare costs out of gross income? Otherwise why aren't all parents working for companies that offer it?

"Otherwise why aren't all parents working for companies that offer it?" - because there's no incentive for companies to offer it? Many companies even get grumpy about offering vouchers. It's amazing that NotAQueef's company is offering it. I didn't know it was possible. But if they can do it, it seems it's possible that others could too without too much trouble.

I like the idea of employing an NVQ qualified chauffeur!!

This has all the hallmarks of another awful Tory policy..........seriously who have they got working on policy atm? I think my 14 yr could do better and I know I could!

BettyandDon Mon 07-Jan-13 15:17:30

If I were to use a local nursery (SW London) it would cost me £150 per day for my 2 (under 3). I'm not quite sure how much I would have to earn to cover it, but it's an absolute bloody fortune.

This sort of 'help' towards childcare is a bloody flash in the pan for someone like me.

If you have kids you may aswell just empty your bank account into a big pile and set it all on fire IMHO.

I don't work as the loss of income is far preferable than never seeing the kids and paying throught the nose for the priviledge.

nannynick Mon 07-Jan-13 15:18:26

as a nanny I drive the children around so I am already an early years qualified chauffeur. Alas I expect there is some tax rule that stops parents with nannies claiming they are a chauffeur.

nannynick Mon 07-Jan-13 15:20:00

Have the details been announced yet or will we be waiting months for that?

sammimammy Mon 07-Jan-13 15:29:56

They should have just left things as they are. The cost of changing everything is almost certainly more than the amount they are saving.

Sounds to me like a man thought of this (sorry I know that's sexist)

Tincletoes Mon 07-Jan-13 15:32:16

I am assuming this would be brought in at a point when universal tax credits are in place and when in theory it would be possible to then allocate child benefit on household income rather than going on 1 persons salary. We are on of the "lucky" families who have a joint income in excess of 60k - but neither of us quite earn over 50k. Lucky to keep child benefit yes, but not so great to have the £800+ nursery bills each month. And we're not financially well off enough for me to stop working.

So to me this in theory sounds like a good plan. Base CB allocation on joint income, but then give tax breaks to working parents - and i don't mean mums, but situations where both parents work. However, whilst 2k sounds a lot, it makes a big difference if this is 2k off your tax bill, or 2k off your taxable income - as other people say, you already get over 2k off your taxable income at the moment via childcare vouchers.

Anyway I think it's a good idea in theory, assuming they make CB based on household income and are therefore compensating those households where both parents work and need to pay for childcare. But I also hope they make it for over 5s too - after school clubs can be expensive.

Strix Mon 07-Jan-13 15:34:00

BBC hasd posted a document here: assets.cabinetoffice.gov.uk.s3-external-3.amazonaws.com/midtermreview/HMG_MidTermReview.pdf

But I can't find squat about tax relief for childcare costs... surprise, surprise.

Ho hummmmmm... hmm

bigkidsdidit Mon 07-Jan-13 15:34:57

I got really excited until I read this thread

DH and I both claim £243 vouchers every month -it sounds like we will be worse off?

WHY won't they just make voucher amount unlimited

come on Coalition HQ, you're obviously reading this

Strix Mon 07-Jan-13 15:38:28

Oh oh... it does say something about preeschool funding for lower income 2 year olds. Oh good, not for my 2 year old. But, once again, I can be made to pay for someone else to have a perk which I:
1. Am not entitled to
2. Cannot otherwise afford

How is that fair?

It isn't! angry

Strix Mon 07-Jan-13 15:46:17

So you don't all have to search for it:

"We will, for the first time, ensure that all 2 year olds from low income households can access 15 hours per week of early education – starting with the poorest 20 per cent in 2013 before extending it to 40 per cent in 2014."

Oh, thanks Dave and Nick... Or is it Naive and Dick?

thesnootyfox Mon 07-Jan-13 15:48:55

Is this instead of the free 15 hours per week? The 15 hours per week are worth almost £4k to me currently. The proposals will effectively double our childcare bill.

nannynick Mon 07-Jan-13 15:56:12

Strix I can not find anything in that document either.

The two year old funding has been around a while so that is not new.

Guess we will have to wait for the detailed version - by which time maybe they will no longer think tax deductable childcare is a good idea.

AnnoyedAtWork Mon 07-Jan-13 15:59:26

The telegraph reports that details will be announced on Thursday. But they also said that it would be awarded to WOMEN to pay for someone to look after THEIR children while they work (how irresponsible)

Gotta love the subversive digs at working mothers

NotAQueef Mon 07-Jan-13 16:02:35

why can't they just make childcare cheap/affordable at the point of use. All this faffing around with tax relief and deductions is just baffling and it is nigh on impossible to work out if you will be better off or not. Therefore I assume for most - not.
It's just another way for the government to make it seem like they care about the plebs while actually shafting a further 10% of the population they missed with the last announcement!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 07-Jan-13 16:08:29

LexyMa.

I wouldn't have let / let anybody mind any of my dc with only a level 2 in childcare. Thats just a GCSE.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 07-Jan-13 16:30:15

I like some of the changes, it seems people would be better off than the current voucher scheme which doesnt currently save £2k a year and it also looks like it will only be paid to the working parents so no more state paid childcare for SAHP's.

Capping it to age 5 may backfire though. Whilst parents should be responsible for the whole cost of raising a child many wont want to pay full childcare so will simple leave and rely on benefits so we could end up paying more.

SuiGeneris Mon 07-Jan-13 16:31:52

Is this actually being announced or not? Have just flicked through the mid-term review published 10 mins ago and it is not there....

According to the Sunday papers it is £2000 towards the cost of nurseries and childminders.

Is this per child or per taxpayer or per taxpayer per child?

How about OFSTED-registered nannies?

What happens to the childcare vouchers? Note that a big problem with vouchers is that if you are a 40pc taxpayer and change jobs, you can only get lower rate vouchers once you change jobs...

How do you claim this money?

Strix Mon 07-Jan-13 16:36:16

Current childcare vouchers can be used at a variety of places (i.e. Kip McGrath). It will be interesting to see if that continues.

LilyBolero Mon 07-Jan-13 16:40:12

I CANNOT for the life of me see the logic of saying;

The child benefit cut unfairly discriminates against single income families.

So to offset that,

we're going to give £2k PER CHILD to dual income families.

So, a family on one income of 60k loses every penny of their child benefit.

A family on two incomes of 49k (ie totalling 98k) keeps every penny of their child benefit AND gets this new tax break of 2k per child.

A family on two incomes of 1,000,000 (for example), totalling 2MILLION loses their child benefit, but gets this new tax break.

It is total insanity. And it seems like an ideological policy to force mothers back to work, totally going against their 'traditional family' stance. The 'most family friendly government ever' they claimed. I think not.

And who is going to run the so called Big Society once all the SAHMs are forced back to work? Who is going to go and help in schools? And what about people who cannot go out to work for whatever reason?

Dual income families ALREADY have 2 personal allowances, meaning they can earn a LOT more as a family before paying tax. The child benefit should have remained universal, as it is simple and fair. This is just a slap in the face for SAHMs.

SuiGeneris Mon 07-Jan-13 16:40:56

NotAQueef: it sounds like you have a great arrangement. I wonder if more employers might be prepared to set something similar up? DH and I would def go for it!!

TimeyWimeyStuff Mon 07-Jan-13 16:44:23

Link below to the document that was published today. I can't see any mention of this scheme. Has anyone seen confirmation of it anywhere?

assets.cabinetoffice.gov.uk.s3-external-3.amazonaws.com/midtermreview/HMG_MidTermReview.pdf

(Maybe I missed it while skim reading)

TimeyWimeyStuff Mon 07-Jan-13 16:45:42

Sorry, I see Strix mentioned that already.

Subject now being discussed on BBc News channel. Looks like it hasn't been announced after all.

Strix Mon 07-Jan-13 16:46:30

Does anyone actually like the proposals (if they ever announce them)? Or do you think the whole thing is political suicide for both parties?

I think people are so angry about the loss of CB that even if they are given more under a tax benfit scheme they will still remember the anger come time to vote.

Strix Mon 07-Jan-13 16:55:26
olgaga Mon 07-Jan-13 16:59:12

Most childminders I know around here (this is outside London) charge £4 per hour per child, and look after a maximum of 3 children.

They all say that is the absolute limit they can manage on their own. My friend has 3 children two days a week 8-6 pm, 10 hours with no break. So that's two days at £120 per day. She also has to do the school run with her youngest two. She's completely exhausted on those days.

The other 3 days she has two children, so she earns a total of £520 per week, term time only. She doesn't get paid for holidays or sick leave, or days when children are ill and can't come. So she gets about 35 weeks a year on average, just over £18,000 gross.

I'm not sure how the cheapest childcare could be any cheaper than it already is!

Strix Mon 07-Jan-13 17:02:30

"so no more state paid childcare for SAHP's"

Ermm... do I go to work to pay my own childcare so I can contribute to childcare for those who don't go to work.... really??? Or are you just having fun winding me up?

Now, I am not talking about people who are unable to work. But, those who simply prefer not to.

Or maybe I missed the point.... please enlighten me.

Strix Mon 07-Jan-13 17:09:03

Childminders in my area charge about £7.00 per hour per child. So if you had say two under fives and you needed ten hour days to go to your 8 hour a day job, that would run you:
£700 per week
£35,000 per year (assuming two weeks when childminder is not paid, e.g. her hols)
£2,917 per month

And that's only two children!

The cost of childcare is crippling in this country. Until the government addresses this issue, lots of parents (men and women) will not be able to go to work and pay taxes and otherwise contribute to the economic recovery.

bigkidsdidit Mon 07-Jan-13 17:11:57

Discussing it on pm now

olgaga Mon 07-Jan-13 17:12:25

Strix it might be unpaid, but it is still work. That's why, if you do it for someone else's children and clean their house, you tend to get paid for it.

I think you mean paid employment, not work.

olgaga Mon 07-Jan-13 17:13:13

Strix so childminders in your area charge the NMW? How very dare they!

fufulina Mon 07-Jan-13 17:14:37

I am also outraged that the telegraph article makes this the woman's issue.

Headinbook Mon 07-Jan-13 17:17:09

How will it be claimed back? Will it be managed through PAYE, or will another great raft of people be pushed into Self Assesment?

curryeater Mon 07-Jan-13 17:17:43

No, you can't pay the childminders less, but there could be subsidy

nannynick Mon 07-Jan-13 17:23:23

Childminders run a business, nurseries run a business, how could Government ever start to tell them what they have to charge people?
Lowering childcare costs won't work in my view... I can't see how it can be done. Raising NMW can be done but then the Big Employers would moan I suspect. Are salaries too low rather than childcare costs being too high? Nursery staff can often be on NMW or there about, so if Government increased NMW cost of childcare would go up.

Government subsidy of childcare could work but would it be available to all?

Strix Mon 07-Jan-13 17:24:06

Olgaga hmm

I guess I meant "third party employment". Do you think it is fair for working third partied employed people to have to pay their own childcare and also that of those who choose not to work? Then, the cycle goes that thos employed people work longer to pay those taxes and see their own children even less so those who chose not to be employed can see theirs more.

What is the relevance of NMW when we are discussing a client fee and not a salary?

LexyMa Mon 07-Jan-13 17:40:54

sorry morethanpotato, it wasn't a real suggestion - I couldn't at that moment bring to mind a better shorthand for a nanny qualification!

AnnoyedAtWork Mon 07-Jan-13 17:46:19

I will be ruined if it is capped at 5yo! I literally will go to Downing Street and protest!

Have to pay for after school and before school care as me and DP both work full time 40 mins travel away from school.

It really gets my goat how people moan about the new CB policy / this new policy on only giving ccare help to working people "punishing sahps "

I would love to afford either me or DP to stay at home! Dual income families NEED childcare in order to work and pay tax.

AnnoyedAtWork Mon 07-Jan-13 17:52:34

Have signed the e petition

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 07-Jan-13 17:57:33

The current voucher system was easy to do at source but a lot of employers pulled out as the maternity loophole that many women used meant it cost them to much to run it so thise that cannot claim them may now be able to.

Strix, not a windup re paying for others childcare. Currently one partner only working can claim the vouchers so the SAHP can have childcare. It always seemed a daft situation. If they want to help people work, then there should be safeguards in place to ensure all adults in the household work.

olgaga Mon 07-Jan-13 18:08:01

I'm afraid I don't understand the point you're making. Most SAHP's I know worked and paid tax before having their children - in my case for 24 years. Their employed spouses pay tax.

The point of the free nursery places for two year olds (which I don't agree with, by the way) is that it is supposed to be beneficial for children, and it is a guaranteed subsidy for the childcare industry. It is not new money, it has been taken from the SureStart budget (that's why I don't agree with it).

Your argument reminds me of people who say "We don't have kids so why should we pay taxes so that other people's kids can go to school and get free childcare?" or "I never have to go to the Doctor so why should I pay my taxes so that smokers and drinkers get free health care".

The relevance of the NMW level (which is actually £6.19ph) is that the childminders in your area, asking for £7ph for extremely demanding work are not exactly pricing themselves out of the market, are they! I bet they have waiting lists as long as your arm.

Where do you think a childcare subsidy would come from, if not from more taxation?

Children need to be cared for, it's not as though that comes as a surprise to anyone surely? If you don't want to do it yourself, you pay someone else to do it.

Why moan about people who choose to care for their own children as though they are some kind of burden? Most SAHP's I know do some kind of voluntary work for schools and charities, or they are also caring for elderly parents.

Most childminders are parents who choose to do it despite the low pay so they can work at home and be there for their own children. If they all gave up and went out to work, who do you think would look after the children whose parents work outside the home?

olgaga Mon 07-Jan-13 18:11:07

I meant to add to my post, in relation to the free childcare subsidy, that most nurseries would face closure without it. Their profit margins are extremely small as it is.

PolkadotCircus Mon 07-Jan-13 18:14:25

Exactly what Lily said further down.

thesnootyfox Mon 07-Jan-13 18:18:00

Does anyone know when this proposed change is due to take place?

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 07-Jan-13 18:34:35

I notice some on here seem to think that SAHPs shouldn't get tax relief for child care for the working spouse. Why the hell shouldn't they? What if I want to retrain and go back to college or University to do a course? What if I want to work as a volunteer to try and increase my skill set and experience to stand me in good stead for a future paid job? There are many reasons why single earner households would benefit from tax relief for child care. We don't all bugger off for the day and have facials and manicures you know.

concessionsavailable Mon 07-Jan-13 18:45:36

namechanger
It is absolutely definitely the case that, for both DH and I, if we leave our current employment, we will forfeit any accumulated vouchers. We have looked into this very very carefully, as we both have shit insecure jobs are considering moving onto other roles, while at the same time we have each lovingly squirrelled away the maximum possible childcare vouchers while I am on mat leave with DD2, in anticipation of the many thousands of pounds we're going to start paying from next month when I return to work. Now, that forfeit rule may be part of the particular childcare voucher company our firms use or it may be something our employers have inserted (nb we work in totally different industries). But it is something which has exercised us hugely, trying to decide whether to take the risk of saving vouchers and watching them go poof/ trying to pay nursery in advance, or whether to simply not bother and then lose one year's allowance.
It is one of the many flaws of the current crappy scheme, but I don't see this new one helping us either.

PolkadotCircus Mon 07-Jan-13 18:50:20

I hate I know I need to retrain ASAP now we'll lose CB so why shouldn't we actually get something for a change.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Mon 07-Jan-13 19:04:59

I'm one of these single earning households that would benefit from a tax rebate in childcare. DH is the earner and I am a full time student. He currently saves he maximum in vouchers each month so I can getting degree. It's naive at best to suggest the single earning households don't need childcare.

olgaga Mon 07-Jan-13 19:05:07

ihategeorgeosborne Well said.

In any case, the main motivation is that it benefits children - in the same way that a couple of free playgroup sessions did when my DD was pre-school. If I remember rightly they had to be 2yrs 9months before you could take it up.

Much of the pressure for it came from education think-tanks, as it helps children of pre-school age to get used to a more structured environment, and mix with other children and adults.

Typical attitude towards "freeloading" SAHMs. Not to mention the fact that if we all decided to take up paid employment outside the home the increased demand for childcare would restrict its availability and drive up the cost even further.

Tincletoes Mon 07-Jan-13 19:06:45

Concessions are you sure that you will lose the vouchers? It's certainly not a legal condition of receiving them - and in fact my DH left his job recently but retained the vouchers earned when he was in that employment.

PolkadotCircus Mon 07-Jan-13 19:11:25

I find it so sad that mothers wanting to stay at home with their children are now looked down upon.When did this all happen?

Would be nice if for once mothers were helped to actually be with their children.

What children need or want( and their mothers)now comes rock bottom,in fact nobody in gov even bothers to look or ask the question.sadThose of us that have done it seem to be getting slated more and more these days.I really don't see how this gov can proclaim to be trying to help families-the reality is the complete opposite.

izzyishappilybusy Mon 07-Jan-13 19:18:49

CONCESSIONS the money deducted buys cc vouchers. These then form a pot for paying across - my voucher provider has told me I can stockpile them and they will be valid if I give up work.

I don't see how they can be suddenly invalid as they are yours. Yiuxdobt bought them.

I think you may have been given wrong advice. I will be double checking withy provider myself tomorrow.

If it is indeed limited to under fives then I think that's just another Tory attempt to look generous whilst doing bugger all. Many, many women choose to stay at home for the relatively short time between maternity leave ending and dc starting school. Still more women return after the first child then stop work after a second for a couple of years. This 'policy' will do nothing for those women and I agree that sahps in general are losing out massively under this government. Personally I have worked when all my dcs were young. If I had an under five now this policy would possibly do something for me - but not for my friends who have chosen to stay at home for a time and whose decision frankly should be as respected and rewarded as mine. What is the return the government has given many sahms this week? Nicked their child benefit and now ignored them.

Also I think izzy is right about vouchers. When I got them they were in an electronic account and could be paid as I needed. Which provider are you with?

MmeLindor Mon 07-Jan-13 19:26:29

Olgaga
I would like to see subsidised childcare, or at least see it looked more closely at. I don't know the numbers, or how it is paid for but in Germany Kindergartens for age 3 to 6 years are subsidised, and these are being extended to under 3yo DC too.

We paid about EU 300 a month for 2 children in full time childcare, in an excellent setting with well trained teachers. And that was the top of the scale. Families with lower income pay less, or even nothing at all.

Why does it work in Germany, but not here? They don't have any complicated voucher schemes - childcare is cheap, and they receive about double our child benefit.

jasperc163 Mon 07-Jan-13 19:45:34

Can anyone tell me where it says that this childcare vouchers 'alternative' would not be able to be used with childminders for children above 5? Both DH and I take the full 243 alllowed per month. As of this sept when DD2 goes to school we would still need the vouchers to cover holiday childcare.

The feeling seems to be that this would no longer be allowed?

Strix Mon 07-Jan-13 19:52:32

Hmmm... Some of these posts seem a bot patronising, and also seem to be arguing points I did not make.

I do not look down upon sahps. Quite tge conteary. It must be nice to be able to afford such luxuries. I do however object to having to work long hours and rarely see my own children so that i can contribute to you childcare costs. Do you really think that is fair? What makes your children more worthy of your presence than mine are of my presence.

Where do you think the government gets their money, if not from other parents who would also like to be home with their children?

hatgirl Mon 07-Jan-13 19:59:24

It was sad to realise that the Telegraph article (linked in the OP), Guardian article, Independent Article, Daily Mail article are all written by men, Radio 4s PM programme had three men and a male MP discussing it. Where are all the female voices in the popular media discussing something that will primarily impact on women and the choices women have to make regarding work and childcare. grrr

BoyMeetsWorld Mon 07-Jan-13 20:02:21

If this has an under 5s cut off I will actually lose the will - all that's been keeping me going on with entire salary going on childcare is the thought that it will get better when kids start school. Agree this is actually going to put lots of mums off returning to work after 5 years.

Only thing I can think in relation to being 'worse off' than vouchers - if we were savvy, could we not claim the £2k back, put it in an account & - with great discipline- split it into 4 chunks of £500 (so not much less than the current amount 'saved' with vouchers) and pay ourselves installments each month to spread it. So tax break from age 2-5 could be claimed, accumulated & used to spread across age 3-14 (or 3-11 if you wanted a tiny bit more each month). Faffy system though.

Excellent point hatgirl.

WidowWadman Mon 07-Jan-13 20:11:45

"Where are all the female voices in the popular media discussing something that will primarily impact on women and the choices women have to make regarding work and childcare. grrr "

Why is it women who have to make choices in your opinion? A father chooses as much as a mother whether to continue working or not.

It's a good thing when they get away from framing it as a "affecting women" instead of "affecting families" issue.

PolkadotCircus Mon 07-Jan-13 20:21:02

Strix well stay at home with them then,it's your choice as it should be.

When you become a sahp you ruin you ruin your career,have no pension,have years of tight budgeting,it's often boring and it's mighty difficult to get back into work.Some of us have no choice but to be a sahp and some choose to.Most mums that do it do it for their dc not because they particularly enjoy sitting at home unstimulated,broke and run ragged at times.It's hardly a rose garden 24/7. Yes it's great at times but so is working and having a career.

Lately sahp seem to be depicted as spoilt,rich yummy mummies with little to do but frittering money on coffee and manicures.

Mums and dads should all be supported in their choices (which we all do for the good of our dc )whatever they are not penalised or criticised because of some idealised picture and subsequent jealousy.

hatgirl Mon 07-Jan-13 20:24:25

I agree completley WidowWadman it should be both partners making the choices... it doesn't change the hard facts though that like it or not it is still primarily women that this will affect and it is women that are generally the ones that feel they have to make that choice, and yet most of the mainstream news have chosen to have it discussed only by men. Why not a mixture of male and female voices?

My point and your point are really two separate issues regarding the same common cause.

olgaga Mon 07-Jan-13 20:40:12

Strix
I do not look down upon sahps. Quite tge conteary. It must be nice to be able to afford such luxuries. I do however object to having to work long hours and rarely see my own children so that i can contribute to you childcare costs.

If that's not patronising I don't know what is. Everyone who pays tax funds services they may not ever benefit from. I am happy to pay tax to fund childcare for children whose parents may not otherwise be able to afford to give them that experience.

I think if you are so angry about missing your children, working long hours and (gasp) paying tax you'd better reconsider your lifestyle and give up work. Your choices are your responsibility.

WidowWadman Mon 07-Jan-13 20:43:17

They will continue feeling that they have to make that choice when it is continued as being referred to as women's choice or issue. It's a bit of a chicken and egg thing - it is that way for many as it is still thought and talked about that way for many, so it selfperpetuates.

I'm not against women being invited to discuss this too (and am generally in favour of mixed panels), at all, I'm just thinking the less childcare is called a women's issue the more likely it is to become an issue affecting both sexes in people's heads.

That said - I haven't listened to PM today so don't know whether the men discussing it have referred to it as a women's issue or not.

HomeEcoGnomist Mon 07-Jan-13 21:13:30

I want all of my childcare costs (some £2000 per month) to be taken out of my income before I am taxed, and I don't want my pension contribution to be affected as they are with the current voucher scheme. If this was implemented, we would find a lot more nannies being paid on the books.

^^ this
Childcare is a cost of going to work and should be tax deductible.

SizzleSazz Mon 07-Jan-13 21:23:37

When DC were under 5, it cost me £30 per (full) day for a CM (Which i know is cheap!)

Now they are at school it costs me £18 per day for before and after school (and i still have to finish at 4.15 to pick up in time).

So, although cheaper, i have to finish earlier as hours are more restrictive. I cannot see why on earth they think the benefit should only be to age 5. I think Govt think normal school hours allow parents to work 40hrs a week for 48 weeks a year hmm

SizzleSazz Mon 07-Jan-13 21:24:17

^ per child that is!

JollyToddles Mon 07-Jan-13 21:36:40

With the childcare voucher scheme... Which I thought was pretty straightforward I have £160 taken off my monthly wages to create vouchers. This pays for DS's nursery (he only goes one day a week).

So basically this will have no effect on me as I already get his full childcare costs tax free.

Am I right?

Xenia Mon 07-Jan-13 21:45:05

Vouchers are not availbale to the self employed like I am.
Full time daily nanny in London for 3 children under is going to cost you not much less than £30k so about £50k of before tax income if you include employer NI, employee NI and tax for the nanny so if they allow £30k against your tax at the highest rate that might help. However they aer going to allow a sum which bears no relationship to London costs again as they want London to subsidise the idle regions as ever and tax people in London in effect to the hilt. £2k a year is a joke. I would rather have very very low flat taxes and a much much smaller state. Roll on Russia - we can see why the French are going there - 13% tax.

Tincletoes Mon 07-Jan-13 21:47:57

Well jolly the tax and NIC you save on that £160 is 32% of that I think (ie 20% tax, 12% NIC). So that makes it £51 per month of tax and NIC you save, or £614 per year.

Under this new scheme it depends are they going to take the £2000 from your taxable income (like they do now), or are they going to take it from your tax bill. As a lower rate earner, the tax / NIC on £2000 would be £640 so for you the effect would be marginal they are reducing taxable pay by £2000. On the other hand, if they reduce tax bills by £2000, you'll be better off.

And it looks like only one partner could claim... so to be honest I think it'll work out pretty much exactly what the current scheme does if both partners claim vouchers.

JollyToddles Mon 07-Jan-13 21:53:53

Thank you so much, Tincle smile

ceeveebee Mon 07-Jan-13 21:57:33

This proposal only seems to be for funding for childminders and nurseries - what about nannies?
I have a nanny for my twins for various reasons, one being that neither DH or I could actually do our jobs if we had to work around inflexible opening hours, but also because its more if less the same cost as two nursery places. Looks like we won't get any assistance towards this. Having just lost child benefit in full as well - it's been an expensive start to the year so far.

purpleroses Mon 07-Jan-13 21:57:50

The current system of vouchers I find very clumbersome. I have to guess how much I'll end up paying in childcare (which varies) and then claim it, and then print of vouchers each month to pass to the after school club. Some holiday clubs take them and some don't. And lots of parents work for employers who don't offer them. I used to claim tax credits instead so didn't get the vouchers - meaning that they mainly subsidise the better off, as lower income households claim tax credits instead.

The government needs to simplify the system to make it simpler to pay for childcare, or just subsidise the suppliers of childcare to make it cheaper.

Glittertwins Mon 07-Jan-13 22:00:09

If only one of us could claim, and that being the max of £2k, that would leave us quite out of pocket compared to our joint current sacrifice of £4.4k pa

nannynick Mon 07-Jan-13 22:02:54

ceeveebee - I can't see how they could limit it to only childminders and nurseries... I would suspect it would be like Childcare Vouchers: for all registered providers. However they could decide to drop the registration of nannies (in England) and nanny agencies (in Scotland), so maybe they could limit it.
Details have not been published, so until they are we won't know.

Tincletoes Mon 07-Jan-13 22:03:53

Unless it was 2k off your tax bill glitter, in which case it would be much better

TBH it is impossible to comment until they release the detail.

Glittertwins Mon 07-Jan-13 22:04:13

But if it is £2k per child, then we would slightly out of pocket...if there is nothing at all and everything for the over 5s is canned, we are significantly out of pocket coupled with CB loss.

Glittertwins Mon 07-Jan-13 22:05:33

I agree Tincletoes, just have to wait it out.

Interested to see detailed versions of this proposal - like a lot of people I'd like to see more affordable childcare in general. I think my childminder is amazing, she has kids of her own, she is qualified in phonics and creating a learning environment for kids, she cooks my DS great meals and he's very relaxed and happy there so I don't begrudge paying her £4.50 an hour. Next year when I have two DCs though I'll be paying £8 an hour in childcare and like a lot of people I get no tax credits any more since they raised the threshold.

Me and DH, even with decent(ish) jobs, do really struggle with mortgage (on a house in negative equity), living expenses, childcare, petrol costs month to month, and even though we rarely go out, don't holiday abroad and spend hardly anything on ourselves we have absolutely no savings. It's a nerve wracking way to live and it would be nice to see a government proposal that genuinely rewards parents who work and have to juggle their lives around that - which is not in any way to say that SAHMs should be penalised for staying at home, just that medium income families could do with a bit of support instead of constantly running like hamsters on treadmills trying to keep everything going, paying our rates/national insurance/taxes and getting little in return.

JollyToddles Mon 07-Jan-13 22:08:41

Having thought about it.... Surely there's not a chance the govt can offer us £2000 of our tax bills. That has to cost them too much money.

Tincletoes Mon 07-Jan-13 22:13:59

For 2 parents both claiming vouchers it costs them £1866 though... I suspect this is why you will only be able to claim for preschoolers... It is completely to counteract people like me and my DH (who earn a combined income of greater than 50k) who argue that losing child benefit is a hardship when you are paying more than 800 a month in nursery fees.
Totally agree overall we'll all lose out as after school clubs so expensive.

TBH the more I think about it the more politically devious this all is!

musicalfamily Mon 07-Jan-13 22:18:29

When you add up before school club, after school club and the hugely expensive holiday clubs, then it isn't that much cheaper to fund childcare for school age children. That's why so many families juggle at least one end, ie drop off or pick up between them. I cannot believe they are imposing yet another cut on working families and passing it as a benefit. Words fail me!

soverylucky Mon 07-Jan-13 22:35:34

Why just under 5's? I can't use the vouchers with my dd's after school club as it is. We have to pay full price. We have lost our tax credits, our pay has been frozen for some time now (public sector for one of us) the cost of everything is rising. Why can't the government actually help normal middle of the road people like us who are just trying to get by in life and do our best? Tories seem to despise families!

TantieTowie Mon 07-Jan-13 22:44:01

So if this measure was as well as vouchers it would be a great idea - people like me who are self-employed would benefit in the same way as people who are employed by companies that offer vouchers. But because it's instead of vouchers it sets up this whole argument. Why is the coalition government quite so rubbish?

RuskinsRegret Mon 07-Jan-13 23:25:02

If this is replacing childcare vouchers, is per family rather than per parent, and only for children under five, then it looks like a pretty serious cut for a lot of us, not a "new tax break".

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 07-Jan-13 23:53:09

NotAQueef, i think your DH should be taxed on anything over the £243 per month as a benefit in kind, although it may be that the NIC isn't due (not sure). If the scheme allowed, say, £1k pa for health insurance or £500 for gym membership as some of the flexible benefits, they too would be taxable.

I am annoyed there's no detail yet so can't start any planning until there is.

RuskinsRegret Mon 07-Jan-13 23:59:11

Yes, it is becoming significantly stressful not being able to budget properly because of the constant changes and rumours of changes.

mam29 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:01:09

Im so confused by this really am.

went back to work fulltime after eldest in 2007 for some reason I wanted to ensure i was settled before arranging childcare vouchers through my work as seem quite complex. My husband working fulltime too did it his side full amount £243 so I thourght they took 160 salary from gross and then paid nursery £243 in vouchers the i paid hubby 160 cash.

I then moved employers and dident get round to sorting it out through them .

I left work as we both worked fulltime, no family nearby . by time paid 800+nursery commute was left with £300 net , hardly saw hubby and missed out on lots time with my child.

We still kept on nursery for 1 day a week as she as settled , had freinds was good for her devlopment the 15hours funding term after her 3rd birthday helped at we stopped nursery and just did preschool-term time only.

She started school 2010 breckfast clubs £2.50 and after school clubs £7 I know one mum working with 4 and was paying for all 4 so £9.50 each a day 4*9.50 a day so £38 quid a day £190 a week she was full time but newly qualified secondry teacher.

I know people who use vouchers for explore learning centres as we considered that.

The breckfast club started at 8 too late for some and after school 5.30 too early,

Our nursery only did 8-6 hardly any go 7-7. we worked in retail so no cover for weekends and bank hols.

we since had 2kids.

my 3year olds september born so wont start school until sept 2014 weird you can defer them but no flexibility start them earlier.
She does mix of nursery from 18months and started preschool in september when she as 3 they now take from age 2 but the site and small space wouldent feel comfortable starting her there earlier or her younger brother.

Im splitting my 15hours between 2settings so

1half days preschool-3sessions-term time only so free as funding only covers term time.

But nursery she does whole day 8-5.
now shes egtting funding my term time bill will be cut by half but will have defecit s funding 32 weeks a year and private day nursery

is the 15hours free for all 3year olds being scrapped or means tested? at moment its universil.

the 2year old funding seems to be targeted at people on benefits and way of educating parents dn giving child extra support so they not behind when start school its not neccesarily childcare its about sure start and their policies.

We are using childcare vouchers through hubbys work which think saves us £40 a month as nursery 38 a day and 4week month £152 anc vouchers are £160.

I have a 20month old and really want to start him in nursery but unsure where i stand as if have 2preschoolers in nursery just one day a week its going to cost me £80 day -partially funded by nursery grant for 3year old but another year half before she starts primary.

Im hoping to set up own business this year and be self employed so currently if self employed i cant use vouchers but hubby still in work can do still.

We lost tax credits april.
we keeping child benefit as under 50k.
Although i admit the 2parent anomoly with cb unfair.
Whys it all families and not oaps?

I am sahm mum but hopefully not useless.
My husband works long hours
we have no family here.
living costs rising we dont lead the high life.
I have ruined my career we have no savings we get by.
I dont go have nails done or out for lunch.
I was on school pta, im peer supporter breastfeeding group @health clinic and on preschool commitee.

Preschools really struggling for numbers as people cant afford to fund it I have last terms bill to pay of £210 as its term after 3rd birthday which is jan but they couldent hold a place.

I learnt today that someone I know similar to me 3kids married,other half working sahm is getting tax credits, housing and her net income his salary and benefits is near enough my hubbys net take home pay and his gross is 41k.

Feel like tax credits is subsiding employers and making lower earners better off than middle high earners as their salaries are topped up more and then read oh well they need free 2year old place bit irksome not their fault as thats system we have but see it a lot.
I have 3kids and know some families with more than 3kids low wage who seem to have much more disposable income.

The systems so complex I cant work it out anymore.
so many changes I lose track.
just trying to work out how it affects us.

I cant wait to go back work im not sahm mum through choice more necessity,

It makes me want to do well this year in business plans as dont want to be reliant and at mercey of the governemnet whoevers in power but would like to see greater thourght, fairness applied and like to think yes we taxed to hilt but e get something back as at moment its robin hood rob peter to pay paul all it does is

put some people on middle incomes -in higher tax brackets
make the middle poorer
If the everage wage is 26k and ctc is being capped bow at 25k then only people under 25k will get tax credits.Also gone up from 16hours to 24 when employers cant give more hour whats happened to all the mums working 16hours have they lost it?

Makes me want to emigrate for sure. Its so depressing.

elkiedee Tue 08-Jan-13 02:07:53

Great, just what we need (not!)

I was made redundant in September, and have decided that I'll register with agencies for temping next October when ds2 starts school but will do some freelance work from home before then. Kids in part time childcare with some help from my parents and DS2 at school nursery class in mornings. My understanding is that under these proposals we might get a small tax break for a few months for DS2, but where childcare vouchers would have covered a lot of our costs for both of them from late September 2013, this won't. And we might not count as eligible for the tax break anyway, as I might not be working enough....

I also fear that having made child benefit so much more complicated and introduced unfairness, the next step will be to take it off households like ours was until September, and might be again - household income was a little above £50K but earnings were a 55%-45% split (I earned slightly more).

Grrrr.

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 08-Jan-13 05:09:52

Can someone link to where it actually is reported that this would be capped at age 5? I haven't seen that other than on this thread.

Glittertwins Tue 08-Jan-13 06:43:25

Nothing has been confirmed, it would appear that new measures are for pre- schoolers leaving us guessing at what will be scrapped for the over 5s.
Going on the track record, I'm resigned to losing everything we thought we'd claw back after 4.5 years of twins in a private nursery now things are less expensive at school.

Glittertwins Tue 08-Jan-13 06:44:47

Less expensive than nursery but we still have after school and holiday clubs to pay for.

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 08-Jan-13 07:23:32

If tax breaks for over 5s childcare (currently available through vouchers) are scrapped in the new policy it will be making it HARDER for both parents to work full time, harder for women to continue a career after children, it will be achieving the opposite of what they are saying it will. I'm fuming!

It's not even more generous than the current entitlements! How have the papers not picked up on this?! All this is is universalising the system without helping working parents one iota more (& if true about cap at school age, is cutting help)

I may be cynical, but is this a way for the government to stop people using childcare vouchers to reduce their taxable pay, I.e. a way to push more families into the bracket with reduced or no child benefit?
Just sayinggrin.

merrymouse Tue 08-Jan-13 07:39:12

Can't help thinking that all this 'ooh, you'd better give up your child benefit, you don't want to be caught in the nasty self assessment system' talk, is coming at the wrong time of year.

"Sorry HMRC, couldn't get my form in on time, I was getting stressed by all this talk of how complicated it would be!".

What happened to 'tax doesn't have to be taxing?'.

Xenia Tue 08-Jan-13 07:41:27

We must never return to transferrable allowances. Women fought for years for separate taxation and separate rights to own and keep and earn their own money.

Childcare full time for 3 children under 5 costs around £20k to £30k gross cost so about £50k of before taxed income in the UK. £2k is only going to help pin money second earner men/women who play at work.

I would much rather abolish all child benefit and tax credits for simplicity and have a very low flat tax.

DeGlitterBug Tue 08-Jan-13 07:42:27

I can't comment on this proposal because I can't find any details of it.

I would like to comment on the attitude that seems to be prevalent to parents who look after their own children during the working days. I think of myself as a Sahp, however I do also work freelance and so earn a relatively small amount annually, but below the tax threshold. I do this round the time my dh works. I may not be technically 'working' most of the time, but I tell you what I do work fucking hard all day every day at physically demanding work caring for small children. I actually work as hard as many in paid roles doing the same thing, ie childminders and nannies. Yet by some on this thread and by the Govt I seem to be viewed as some kind of shirker! The research evidence suggests that for a parent to care for their own under fives is one of the best options for their development that helps them be school ready, empathetic and grow into decent citizens. In my view it should be encourage and supported for all, not just a lucky few who somehow struggle to afford it. I feel most sorry for those on lower incomes who would like to care for their own children but cannot afford it. FGs we should be supporting parents.

My dh works extra over and above his regular job to earn more money because in his position with this qualifications this is currently easier for him than me, yet he loses 40% of that in tax, and now our cb has been removed too. He faces a pay cut later this year that will take him under that threshold and will likely cut back his other work so we can receive more cb, as it's not worth him doing extra for next to nothing (we have 4 dcs).

All I see is some Tory ideal about as many people as possible working (sahps and the child careers they will need to employ when they go out to work) and opinionated feminists who don't value the work of caring for children and think we should all work even if for next to nothing take home pay so we nearly never see our own children, just because that is the feminist thing to do. They can both fuck right off. I work hard, I paid tax before I had kids and will do again once they're all at school. Dh pays plenty of tax. We both work hard and our children are well cared for.

When we started our family cb was universal and there was a manifesto commitment for it to stay that way. Why would we expect it to be retrospectively taken away?

cookie90 Tue 08-Jan-13 07:53:07

As someone who is going to lose out on CB, and as someone who is self employed ( therefore been previously unable to benefit from the childcare voucher scheme), I am keen to see the detail of these proposals.
Personally though I just wish they had left CB alone, and the 2 proposals for CB and childcare schemes do seem to be more complicated than they needed to be.

Glittertwins Tue 08-Jan-13 07:56:28

Inmysparetime - we are doing exactly that with the vouchers DH gets although its only half the amount now he got a better job with new employers. What is really annoying is that he is still using the same voucher provider but because he left one company scheme and joined another, he got clobbered with the loss of the £243k amount. Still, £124 is better than nothing.

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 08-Jan-13 07:58:52

Glitter there is no point trying to make this thread a sahp vs working parent thing.

This thread is not about the child benefit changes which do affect single earner families perhaps unfairly but about working people being able to deduct childcare costs from pre tax income.

Whatever your opinion about feminism and "what is best for children" surely you can see that it is fair and makes sense that a household where both parents work should receive (more) tax benefits for childcare as it is a necessary cost for them to go to work?

merrymouse Tue 08-Jan-13 08:03:47

Does it really matter whether you are a SAHP or paying for child care? Whether you pay for childcare, reduce your hours to fit around school, take the 'mummy' career track or take a complete career break having children is expensive. I think most people just take the route that seems best for them at the time. Whatever we do we all loose money.

And by 'we' I am talking about women, as it is still women who are generally expected to curtail their career prospects/take the nursery bills out of their salary/stay at home/be available to attend PTA meetings/arrange flowers for the Big Society.

I think the main reason this policy is such a mess is because the government think of Child Benefit reduction as taking coffee money away from silly women who are too loud in Starbucks and in return we get some half arsed ill thought out rushed policy that doesn't even have proper details that coincidentally has to be announced on the same day that CB is taken away, a bit like a bunch of flowers from the garage because the silly women won't know any better.

The most chilling thing is that that the government assures us that they haven't run out of ideas yet...

KenDoddsDadsDog Tue 08-Jan-13 08:18:02

I save more than that in tax now with vouchers AND can use them til DD is 15. Therefore it will help with after school care until she can look after herself.
So not only do I lose my child benefits I'm potentially losing out again. Kicking working mothers in the teeth Dave the Rave.

DeGlitterBug Tue 08-Jan-13 08:23:48

Madame you misunderstand me. I'm not commenting at all on parents who choose to have someone else care for their children. I'm talking only about those of us who do not want this for our preschool aged children. It is not a frigging competition! It does not need to be one against the other hmm.

StripeyBear Tue 08-Jan-13 08:29:15

Xenia wrote
""I would much rather abolish all child benefit and tax credits for simplicity and have a very low flat tax.""

I can see how on the surface this would suit a high earner with little need for public services grin
However, I'm not sure how it would work for most families, as most people's needs far out-strip their capacity to earn in their child rearing years. So, you would either need to ensure a living wage, where even lowly paid workers could support their children from their earnings (not likely) or accept that a good number of children in our society would grow up in absolute poverty (not nice).

As someone who is so comfortably off, do you really want to live in a country where children go hungry? Are you sure you'd feel safe and happy in a country like that?

What a mess this all is! Clearly what we need is a proper integration across taxation and benefits systems.

It has to be said - tax relief would possibly be fairer than vouchers, as only those with employers who bought into the scheme were eligible before.

TheDemonShedMaster Tue 08-Jan-13 08:30:12

These changes - if they happen as described - WILL price me out of the job market. £2000 is less than I currently receive under the voucher scheme and will cause us serious financial difficulty, if I wish to remain in my job. How foolish of me to waste so much time and money on my education and attempting to remain in my profession after having my one (and only) child.

BoyMeetsWorld Tue 08-Jan-13 08:31:46

Do we definitely know it will be capped at 5?? Or are we all getting worked up unnecessarily? (I agree if that is the case, I'll be out there protesting with everyone else. But I've not seen anything stating this do far?)

Xenia Tue 08-Jan-13 08:46:10

Stripey, the principle behind my suggestion is that if you get the country moving agaqin and good business people flocking here because we harmonise tax/NI and capital gains tax at 20% is that then business takes right off and there is loads of money for the poor. It is not a philosphy designed to ensure I pay less tax particularly at all. Every time tax rates are lowered the tax take goes up and the country thrives.

Iain Duncan Smith was very good on Today on Radio 4 around 8.11am this morning - an item very much worth listening to with lots of statistics and in particular the programme made the point that Labour made benefits claimants of 90% of the population who have children through tax credits which made people very dependent on the state.

ceeveebee Tue 08-Jan-13 08:51:40

There seems to be a general misunderstanding of the amount saved under the current childcare voucher scheme. Even if both parents claim, the tax and NI saved is less than £2000 (although if one or both is higher rate and starting claiming before the reduced monthly limit came in, it comes to just over £2000). This policy is up to £2000 per child.

blondietinsellyminx Tue 08-Jan-13 08:58:47

Xenia IDS can't get his sums right channel 4 news blog here with full figures. Please don't hold him out as someone sensible in the "welfare debate".

This new announcement smacks of emperor's new clothes... £2k sounds great until you realise that actually it's likely to be less than the voucher benefit, and is likely to mean that parents of kids aged 5-15 will lose out compared to the current system.

Mumsnetters as MP's sounds an excellent idea though! Surely we'd be better at running the country than the current lot!

blondietinsellyminx Tue 08-Jan-13 09:06:11

merrymouse "tax doesn't have to be taxing" ... It's not confusing if you're a big US company and you choose how little much to pay <cough> starbucks <cough>

olgaga Tue 08-Jan-13 09:06:38

I actually think it's more sinister than that merry. It's about the Tories pursuing a policy of welfare reform which involves withdrawing state subsidy for anything other than the basics - pensions, health, education, and a basic safety net of out-of-work benefits.

The only reason they haven't completely withdrawn tax credits completely is that the system subsidises business and the low-paid service industry, allowing employers to cut wage costs to the minimum.

It's the same with housing benefit which is a subsidy to landlords, rather than impoverished families.

As far as the Tories are concerned, there should be no subsidy or benefits for anything at all above the bare minimum. When they talk about "scroungers", they don't just mean "career claimants". They mean all claimants of any benefits other than pensions. This reflects the view of the Tory hardliners, their core vote, who believe that everyone should be completely self-sufficient.

It boils down to having the lifestyle you can afford without any state help - and as far as they are concerned, having children is a lifestyle choice.

StripeyBear Tue 08-Jan-13 09:13:58

Xenia I have to say I don't really buy the wealth will flow if tax is low argument... but irrespective of that, a country would no redistributive system doesn't seem possible to me. It would mean that those with the highest needs would need to earn sufficiently high wages to cover their immediate costs - or the children of cleaners and nursery workers would starve. It would be good news for cleaners though, as their wages would have to rise to £30k - and once their children were grown they could live so comfortably... but bad news for me, as I would no longer be able to afford a cleaner grin

I don't tbh, see what's wrong with 90% of parents claiming a benefit. What does it matter? Surely it is fair and just - that during the heavily resource intensive period of raising children - that society should chip in and help parents out - as children (raised well) are a benefit to all society?

And the alternative, as described above, is to ensure that everyone earns sufficient to meet their immediate needs - and that is unworkable.

People forget that we are all dependent on collective services (like universities, health service, schools, police, fire service) - and that is a good thing, not a bad thing.

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 08-Jan-13 09:36:17

There is already a problem with people putting off having kids or not having them due to not being able to get on the property ladder. If the huge cost of childcare is not better subsidised for working parents, then more people will choose to have less or no children. Then we will have a birth rate crisis and not enough young people to fund care for old people (and everything else)

I can't afford a second child due to cost of childcare. My dd is nearly 8. Childcare for her so I can work full time plus a day nursery place for a baby would cost me over £2000 per MONTH

takeaway2 Tue 08-Jan-13 09:36:23

NC for the new year etc but a regular poster and lurker.

I'm fed up with the way the government (either, both, all three!) seem to have so many agendas. Yes, I know it's about winning votes, but fgs can't they just agree and get on with the programme of revitalising the economy, upskilling its people and generally rewarding hard work?

Like some of the other posters, I'm fed up with the fact that it's the squeezed middle (and it's anyone really, from 20K-50/60K) that are hurt. Yes, 20K is 3 times less than 60K but those on 50/60K are still not minting it at all. AT ALL. Can't they bloody listen to us for a fricking moment?

We have careers and we want to work. It's such a laugh that we supposedly went to university or have tonnes of experience in the area of work that we do, and yet we end up not having any money left at the end of the month. and No, it's not because we frittered it away in the sale; it's not because we've been shopping extensively at ocado/waitrose (heck they are also replicating the 3 for £10 meat deals); it's not because our children all have designer clothes; it's not because we all drive new cars that cost £30k or more...

my childcare bill costs £800/month (of which £243 is taken out as a voucher); my mortgage is £700+; my elec and gass is £100; my council tax is £150; my afterschool clubs/swim/tennis cost me a significant amount. We don't have grandparents that live nearby (and even if they did, they still work so we can't rely on them for childcare and I wouldn't want to anyway). We are thankful that yes we still have a roof over our heads etcetc, but we've been shopping at Aldi/Lidl (thanks to MN who've shared lots of gems about those places - until recently we only had one of those stores nearby), we've NOT been eating out, we've passed on attending plays/pantos because it's too expensive, and we only have 2 kids.

I'm sick of hearing that free childcare places will be offered to 2 year olds from poorer families (that's a good thing but how about the rest of us? What's poor? I don't have sky tv!)...

They should first create jobs, make the UK an attractive place to set up shop (doesn't matter what sort of shop - industries, universities, retail etc) that will bring more job opportunities. With that, we the people in jobs can then spend more money that we've earned on stuff (not just food), and so on..

argh. I've just paid one credit card bill yesterday; I now have to wait a couple of weeks before I can pay the other one. And no, it's NOT just christmas shopping that's made the bills higher; it's EVERY MONTH...

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 08-Jan-13 09:38:04

Currently get £1200 worth of childcare for £1100 due to tax savings made using childcare vouchers. Measly.

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 08-Jan-13 09:38:37

And that is per MONTH if unclear!

Have any of the actual details of this been released yet, or are we still just being told that there will be additional investment in child care to help 'working mothers' hmm?? Is it Thursday the government are supposedly meeting to firm this up?

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 08-Jan-13 10:30:31

Hello

Many thanks for all the posts - interesting reading.

Nobody outside the government is quite sure why this announcement wasn't made yesterday - although there are some hints in press coverage today that this might be down to internal Coalition disagreement over the policy.

It looks likely that some sort of announcement on childcare funding will be made in the near future, so do please keep letting us know what you think.

specialknickers Tue 08-Jan-13 10:36:43

Another massive con. They must think we're totally stupid... Worse than nothing I think, because whilst they're removing child tax credits and child benefit they're offering undisclosed tax breaks that will penalise stay at home parents. It's nonsense.

If they really wanted to help children they'd have state child are for all, just as they do in Denmark / Sweden, where children have high quality child care available so that parents can split work responsibilities as they choose - instead of bogus tax breaks that send yet more money into shoddy private sector nurseries, where the fees will rocket.

jellybeans Tue 08-Jan-13 10:48:07

Great post DeGlitterBug. Totally agree.

specialknickers Tue 08-Jan-13 10:54:58

Actually, I'm seething now. All this bullshit about "working mothers"... It's so fucking patronising. We don't hear about "working fathers" do we? No. Because its assumed that fathers work. These policies do not even use language that reflect the realities of modern life. PARENTS work. We're paying taxes and we're bringing up the next generation of taxpayers and I'm sick of being talked down to whilst this government force through more back-of-a-fagpacket policies that clearly will save no money whatsoever.

PolkadotCircus Tue 08-Jan-13 11:03:13

Spot on Deglitter

cogitosum Tue 08-Jan-13 11:33:09

There is quite a bit of wrong information about childcare vouchers and salarty sacrifice on this thread so just to clarify...

Notaqueef's scheme must be a workplace nursery. THese are tax and NI exempt to the total cost. Other employer supported childcare (the most common of which is childcare vouchers) is exempt up to the limits depending on rate of tax. Whether it's offered through felx makes no difffernece to the tax status, just on how your emlpoyer admnisters the scheme.

Annie you also save NI so the savings for a basic rate taxpayer is 30.6% or 32% making up to £933 a year not £588 (although still not £2000! but nearly for two parents)

Concessionsavailable childcare vouchers don't go poof if you leave or go on maternity leave (although your employer may do this). On the whole they don't expire and can be used til 1st september following 15th birthday of your youngest DC (this may depend on the voucher provider). They certainly don't when you go on maternity leave as you can continue to get the vouchers on maternity leave - and an employer who does not allow this or is contrary to the sex discrimination act. In particular the Maternal and Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2002

Hope this helps!

ThePippy Tue 08-Jan-13 11:52:05

Further to cogitosum's post about CCV when on maternity leave, the rules of any salary sacrifice scheme is that your company must continue to provide you the benefit that you have contracted to sacrifce salary to receive while on maternity leave, in exactly the same way as any other contractual benefit. The rules go further to state that your maternity salary CAN NOT be reduced/sacrificed further by your employee as you have already been on a reduced salary contractually in order to receive this benefit.

The upshot is that when you go off on maternity leave, if you have been part of a salary sacrifice scheme to receive CCV, then your company MUST continue to provide you with the CCV's while on maternity leave but your maternity pay should not be reduced. I discovered this handily a few months before going on mat leave with DC2 and fought hard to get my HR department to understand the legislation (small company, ended up getting their own legal advice) and I won. Made what was a pitiful maternity package (only SMP) slightly more acceptable.

Startail Tue 08-Jan-13 11:57:46

I don't work and have lost my CB and as my youngest DD is 12.

I can't invent a job out of thin air, I refuse to leave a my DDs (even at 15&12) all summer in the middle of nowhere with no transport.

They get on very well, but after a few days they would had enough and I refuse to have DD1 being responsible for trampoline, cycling or climbing frame accidents especially involving the girl next door.

Therefore, the Government can Fuck the Fuck off an do what the hell it likes.

All it's bright ideas make us worse off so I no longer care.

picketywick Tue 08-Jan-13 11:59:00

Dave and Nick revealed very little in their press conference. The "leaks" to the press were a cheat. Beware of Coalition leaks.

Startail Tue 08-Jan-13 12:03:51

Sorry, that should read an my pension contributions as DD2 is 12.

Pension was Labour, it used to be 16
and
Child benefits is the Tories

Given DHs employers do some defence stuff the Liberals hate them.

So basically all the political parties are shit!

DeGlitterBug Tue 08-Jan-13 12:04:27

Maybe they ran it up the flagpole, watched the reaction and realised it wouldn't fly?

Mrskbpw Tue 08-Jan-13 12:19:36

I've not read this whole thread, and I know that the policy wasn't announced anyway, but I have a question.

I saw on the front of the Telegraph today that this would punish SAHMs because they wouldn't get a tax-break to pay for childcare. I must confess that I didn't read the whole article because I was reading over someone's shoulder on the train and I can't find it online now.

But my question is, how would you give a SAHP a tax-break? My understanding is that a tax-break is on income tax. That's how my childcare vouchers work anyway. So if you're not working, you're not paying income tax. How then - in fact, why then - would you get/need a tax-break?

(BTW I have absolutely no problem with parents claiming their vouchers and using them however they want in the system as it stands at the moment. If one parent works and the other doesn't, then why shouldn't the working parent claim vouchers and use them for childcare to allow the other parent to study, or write a novel, or learn judo or whatever the hell they want? That's not my point, my point is how you give someone a tax break when they're not paying income tax - do you let them pay less VAT?!)

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 08-Jan-13 12:28:33

It is my understanding that the working parent would still get a tax break to pay for childcare in the same way, regardless whether or not they had partner at home.

The confusion is perhaps whether 2 earners would get double the tax break (which surely makes sense as they would use more childcare)

As they say at the end of the article, "the main barrier for women returning to work is the cost of childcare... we simply dont get stay at home mothers contacting us saying they want more money for childcare" - no 10 source

It is about making returning to work a viable CHOICE for second earners, no one is forcing you (if you can survive on 1 income)

However I don't think 2k per year tax deductible changes anything vs current childcare vouchers (it is still nowhere near enough)

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 08-Jan-13 12:31:29

And for those whom it is not a choice because they can't afford not to both work, helping them out as they contribute to the future of our society by having children and both paying income tax

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 08-Jan-13 12:40:18

There are situations where a couple is worse off if the second earner works due to the extortionate cost of childcare. (Or single parents who cant afford to work). That is simply wrong.

Therefore making childcare payable out of pretax income makes absolute sense. The problem is, only allowing £2k per year to be paid this way makes hardly any difference. It needs to be 100% although I understand the need for a cap it should be more realistic, say 10k per child.

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 08-Jan-13 12:41:23

Or capped according to the local cost of childcare in the same way housing benefit is capped at average rent for the area for the size you need.

Xenia Tue 08-Jan-13 13:37:27

Local costs woudl be better but there is very little money in state coffers so I am not holiding my breath. Cost of a full time daily nanny if you have a proper full time job and she looks ater 2 or 3 under 5s which is very common is going to be about £25k - £30k a year including paying her natinoal insurance, her tax and emplo0yers' NI on her salary. You pay that out of your taxed income.

So if you could set the £30k (some hope) off against 40% tax then £12k is from the state and £18,000 paid by you or £9,000 per parents (childcare costs are never just costs for women - men find and pay for childcare and are a full part of this issue in most equal households - real women don't marry sexist men who expect women to be in charge of children not in 2013 and not even 30 years ago). I also think this Government is going to have to drop the sexist stance it has put on this as they will annoy even libertarian flat taxes who woudl be in favour of abolition of all credits, child benefits and the like by their suggestion that Nick Clegg and other men are somehow less responsible for children even than their higher earning wives like his - Miriam G. They can woo the female vote if they avoid sexism but even here they are getting that wrong (... calm down dear). Avoiding sexism would not cost them a penny and buy them much credit but they are still getting it wrong.

Viviennemary Tue 08-Jan-13 13:43:08

I read somewhere today that married couples would be getting a tax break. All these rumours do seem a bit odd to say the least and no announcement yesterday. It does look as if they are testing the water.

PolkadotCircus Tue 08-Jan-13 13:50:53

I wouldn't get your hopes up think it was only £150 a year.

Highly silly,unfair and a complete waste of money IMHO.

Basically 2x 40k will now get CB,help with cc and a married couple allowance.Those of us on one income of 50-60k who have happily been living together for years get nothing.

Fair- I think not.

caramelwaffle Tue 08-Jan-13 13:52:02

Yes, they are Vivienne and as Xenia points out, dropping the sexist language and stance would be a very, very good start Coalition Government imho.

HelpOneAnother Tue 08-Jan-13 13:56:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I agree that they have been testing the waters with the rumours.

Enough of their core voters have expressed horror, bafflement and/or derision for a total rethink to be in order.

It doesn't count as a u-turn if you never officially announced it in the first place... grin

takeaway2 Tue 08-Jan-13 14:33:02

There are some countries where they do what Xenia's suggested...

So if someone earns £50K, and has to pay for childcare of £10k/per year, the way they'd be taxed would be first X amount free (something like £8000 now?), followed by the £10k that you pay for childcare, and therefore you are only liable for tax of 50-8-10=£32K. This would mean that on 22% tax (because you fall in the lower tax band), you'll pay £7K in tax per year, which is much better than the current system where you would have to pay tax on £50-8-(243*12)=£39K.

They even allow tax rebates on having more children (in a bid to increase birth rates), and other sorts of tax rebates.

And yes, they need to stop the sexist language and stance...!!!!!!!!!!

mam29 Tue 08-Jan-13 15:40:20

Just thourght might try clarify voucher confusion.

Back in 2011 could have been april co-alition changed the rates you could save with vouchers was less than we got in 2006 for 1st child.

My guess is if old old contract ie been in same place years then maybe that stayed same.

Like I say hubby,s always done it through his job which helped me when I was working and at home.

Also different employers use different voucher providers current one is computer share and elctronic back in 2006 was paper and not sure which provider.

So if terminate one scheme and join new employer then you have to join under new terms and conditions I guess therefore getting less.

Also not every employer offers it and always seem wrong self employed people cant benefit unless they can make childcare part of annual tax return that be good a rebate on childcare costs.

Me and husband discussed earlier as we both been employers and only management or supervisors say took advantage of the scheme no one else asked of course was advertised in company handbook. One single parent cashier 16hours said majority of her childcare was paid through working tax credit childcare element no sure if this still exists as never was eligible when working for help with childcare other than vouchers and free 15hours term after 3rd birthday.

I really hope not axed at age 5 as its really going to hurt many business, childminders and after school clubs. some schools axed after school clubs as not enough parenst working to warrent it.
Even use vouchers in nursery class of prep up until age 5.

Most people only get 6weeks holiday and school only runs for 32weeks of year so how do we provide childcare for 14weeks if no family near by.

Uses 2diffrent nurserys both private one for each child and they converted houses and wouldent space for loads of kids and become battery farmed childcare!

The childcare for disadvantage d 2year olds red herring its sole purpose is not childcare its child development.
Watched on daily politics last nite as missed lunchtime and both woman conservative and lub dem bloke men were self congratulating themselves why wouldent the middle mind the redistribution of wealth and giving their childcare breaks to family on less income than themselves. This offended me personally we stuggle on most months we not rich.

Xenia Tue 08-Jan-13 16:29:13

What I don't like is the muddled policy. UK very highest tax rate 1970s was 99%. Even my father modestly paid state worker paid 63% upper rate and 15% on top of that on savings interest. There were a raft of allowances and discounts and a child tax allowance per child. You could set your mortgage interest against tax at highest rates and there was no pension fund upper cap. It was high allowances, high tax system.

Lawson sensibly eventually reduced upper tax rate and NI to 40% (now 52% until April) and we moved to two simple tax rates - lower and upper and got rid of some fairly complex tax allowances. That was tax simplicity. It worked well. Tax receipts went up and it made sense and I still favour it.

Roll on a bit and Labour introduced more complexity. They made 90% of parents benefits claimants - tax credits (which I never got as I earned too much but those under £60k got) and all kinds of complexity and a 10% tax band for a time.

We seem to be in a total muddle over what tax policy ought to be. If we want to mvoe people off tax credits and child benefit and housing benefit when they are in work then employers would need to increase wages and perhaps tax rates and employer NI could go down. We could abolish entirely tax relief on charity contributions, pensions, ISAs and the like and just have income all tax at 20% from all sourcse, whether capital receipts or income and no child benefit.

lljkk Tue 08-Jan-13 17:01:39

Would be nice if it really isn't means tested. Probably some other restriction which means wouldn't help us, though.

I'm looking at min. wage jobs after a 8year break from working for others, and it's hard to cover childcare costs. Even jobs that pay £7-£9/hour I'm only going to net £1-£1.50 per hour, if I'm lucky. Not that I'm qualified for any of them, either, not until I fork out £600+ to get the right NVQs or software training.

definately not in favour if it effects child benefits. i dont use a registered cm but use my cb to pay petrol and costs for my dm to have the dcs. it wont help us at all sad

LilyBolero I agree with everything you said on page five. Where are all these jobs too? Surely a SAHP, whether a Mum or Dad, frees a job so why are they trying to force us on to the production line? DH is just into the higher tax threshold, but knows colleagues who have turned promotions down, male and female, because they would be worse off.

Also very good points raised by Olgaga on page five.

Iggly Tue 08-Jan-13 20:43:17

No thank you.

It's another cut disguised as something new.

Get lost Cameron.

melliebobs Tue 08-Jan-13 21:00:19

Dh has just looked at it and essentially it looks like another version of child are vouchers

ceeveebee Tue 08-Jan-13 21:23:23

Mellie - what exactly has your DH looked at - no details have been released yet?

Viviennemary Tue 08-Jan-13 21:36:58

Free state child care for everyone would simply cost an absolute fortune and the only way to raise the money would be taxation. Still on the other hand maybe if Tesco's and Starbucks paid their share things might be fairer for the rest of us.

bigkidsdidit Tue 08-Jan-13 21:40:31

Vivienne yesterday on Pm it was suggested changing the rules on pension tax relief for well-off pensioners would cover the cost

It was a think tank man not a gov official, but t was interesting

NumptyMum Tue 08-Jan-13 22:47:12

I've just started a new job with a charity. So far I've never yet worked for a charity that deals with childcare vouchers, because I'm guessing there is an admin charge for the employer. So I'm not holding out much hope of getting vouchers under the current system. DH and I are probably just outside the joint income that would get any help via child tax credits, so we won't get help there. If the new system is to claim childcare costs against tax (up to £2k as suggested in some papers) then given the rise in personal tax threshold, how would that work as a part-timer (me) or for someone who is self-employed (DH)?! At least Child Benefit is simpler... I hope they don't remove that totally while shaking up these other things as then I will be paying to work (ie work bringing in LESS than the cost of childcare - it currently just about balances out).

Sigh.

Want2bSupermum Wed 09-Jan-13 02:58:50

It is a step in the right direction but I do think that if both parents are working the cost of childcare should be fully deductible against household income. For those families who have a parent stay home, I think they should have an allowance set at 35hrs a week at minimum wage. At least they are trying to fix the problem. It is the first step of many that need to be taken.

Mosman Wed 09-Jan-13 07:20:41

Free state childcare would create masses of jobs, regulate all childcare centres to a minimum standard and hopefully ensure its adhered to and would save a fortune in social services and family support as low level neglect and abuse would be either avoided or at least picked up quickly and dealt with as was proven by sure starts success rates.

birdofthenorth Wed 09-Jan-13 07:49:14

numptymum just to say I worked for a charity for five years until last year who offered childcare vouchers. I'm sure you're right that there may be a fee or administrative burden that puts off charitable or small employers but I just wanted to highlight that not all of the third sector opt out.

birdofthenorth / numptymum - me and DH both work in charity/community sector but while bigger, UK wide charities do tend to offer the vouchers, the smaller, local organisations don't. I find the cost of childcare just for one DS hard going, and with DC2 on the way its only going to get trickier sad

Strix Wed 09-Jan-13 08:02:43

Considering the (poor) job they do running schools and health care, I perfer the government (any government, not just the current one) keep well away from my childcare.

What we need is financial means for hard working (yes I mean those who undertake paid employment in addition to their parental responsibilities) people to make their own childcare decisions as appropriate to their own family needs.

If we allow people to deduct their childcare costs from their income before tax is calculated that would be simplest and fairest. And, obviously, in the case of one parent working and the other staying home, the amount could be deducted from the income of the parent who is working.

Mosman Wed 09-Jan-13 08:10:42

I've seen done shocking private nurserys, schools and hospitals. On the whole government run facilities are usually far superior in terms of compliance with health and safety, less focused on profit.
The government run nurseries wouldn't be forced on anybody but if you need or wanted to use them, they could be available or heck how about a voucher scheme. Oh wait a minute

Strix Wed 09-Jan-13 08:17:32

"On the whole government run facilities are usually far superior in terms of compliance with health and safety"

Really? Can you back that claim up with some evidence/examples?

I think it would be better to give parents the choice of who looks after their children. If a nursery is not performing, leave. When they lose their business they will either improve or close.

Xenia Wed 09-Jan-13 08:27:05

We need both. A lot of us know the state does things badly and the private sector very well but let people keep their choice. An unregulated daily nanny for your 3 under fives who works in your home (which is what we had) is absolutely find for most of us and you can get some really good people.

AnnoyedAtWork Wed 09-Jan-13 10:19:29

There is the wrong perception among some on here (and see telegraph article on sahms today) that this "childcare tax break" is somehow being given to placate for lost CB. And this is why sahps feel hard done by. This is fallacious for 2 reasons:

1. The new policy would replace childcare vouchers and childcare element of working tax credit. The tax saving would be similar to what is currently available through vouchers. So working parents are not being given anything extra. I don't know, but I suspect the flat £2k tax free allowance is less than lower income workers currently get through childcare elt of WTC. So this policy is actually a CUT to lower income working parents! And does not help middle income working parents any more at all.

2. The working partner of a sahp would still be able to offset the 2k tax free against childcare. It is unclear whether it would be 2k per worker, per child, or per household. But 2 working parents should get more tax free allowance for childcare, this is only fair.

I agree that CB should be to reward and help those who raise children no matter their working status/income but this is a separate issue from helping parents go to work by allowing income tax breaks for childcare.

Mosman Wed 09-Jan-13 10:22:35

You can leave a government run nursery or school for that matter and if enough people vote with their feet then they do indeed close.

LilyBolero Wed 09-Jan-13 10:36:05

xenia
We are now paying a marginal tax rate of 72%. Every extra pound dh earns, we give 72p back to the Government. 50% was seen as being too high a rate for super rich, but 72% is seen as being ok for middling families.

caramelwaffle Wed 09-Jan-13 10:48:10

I have to type and run but I lifted this directly from the DWP website from the FAQ page regarding the new Universal Credit which is coming in to force. Just some extra food for thought.

"What is happening about childcare?
Support for children within Universal Credit will be provided in the form of a child element. This will be included in a claimant’s Universal Credit award where they are responsible for a child or qualifying young person that normally lives with them. The child element is comprised of two rates; one rate for the first/only child and then a reduced rate for second / subsequent children.
Universal Credit will provide more support for childcare costs. Under current tax credit rules, support towards childcare costs is only available to parents who work more than 16 hours per week. Under Universal Credit, this requirement will be removed and support will be available to parents regardless of the number of hours they work. This will provide an important financial incentive to those taking their first steps into paid employment. It will mean that around 80,000 extra families will be eligible to receive support through childcare.
Universal Credit is expected to be particularly beneficial to lone parents, including those who wish to work a small number of hours."

This is for out of work as well as in work parents so has some relevance.
&#65532;&#65532;

caramelwaffle Wed 09-Jan-13 10:49:40

Not sure where the extra numbers came from. Apologies.

caramelwaffle Wed 09-Jan-13 10:51:02

...some relevance to this particular debate.

Strix Wed 09-Jan-13 10:58:25

"You can leave a government run nursery or school for that matter and if enough people vote with their feet then they do indeed close. "

That is only true if parents have the freedon to choose whether to use their tax break/vouchers/etc. wherever they so choose. If state run nurseries are set up and only those nurseries are accessible, then parents can't really leave them.

DeGlitterBug Wed 09-Jan-13 12:33:18

"Working mothers will be given thousands of pounds-worth of support for child care to help them to return to work, under plans being considered by David Cameron and Nick Clegg."

The above quote is why it is also relevant to mothers who do not currently work (or only work a little), and especially those whose household income is under pressure from other sources, say maybe the loss of cb. The measure has been badged as to 'help' mothers return to work. See my original post about the devaluing of parents caring for their own children.

Xenia Wed 09-Jan-13 12:43:44

It should say working parents will be given.... Children have two parents. The way this is presented is sexist to the core and Cameron (wife works at Smythson and Clegg (wife is senior lawyer who will earn more than he does as a lawyer at a London law firm) ought to know better.

If it were great for children or great fun to stay home men would be itching to do it.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 09-Jan-13 12:55:01

DeGlitterbug

Irrespective of any decisions made to support both parents working, the devaluing of parents caring for their own children has been increasing for more than a decade now.
I think it is such a shame that some people look down at a sahp or as in Xenias case choose to believe in some way its not good for children, or fun. Speak for yourself but don't generalise.

olgaga Wed 09-Jan-13 12:58:01

I'm not sure how you know whether it's fun or not, xenia, since you're always telling us that it's something you've never done!

StainlessSteelCat Wed 09-Jan-13 12:59:24

One thing I do like about the proposed changes is that everyone can claim back childcare costs. I have worked as a freelancer/temporary worker after my eldest was born. I have never been able to claim childcare vouchers - either I have been self employed, or my employer did not offer them. So at least I would be able to benefit form this proposal.

However, I'm not sure I can see any other positives in it. It is hard work dealing with the tax credit system when you do not have a salary, claiming back tax can only make this more complex.

DeGlitterBug spot on. One parent at home is great for children Xenia, whether it's their Mother or Father. I couldn't care less if another Mum wants to work, but I get fecked off with my decision, my choice to stay at home being derided. Feminism is about choice and I am not returning to work to a shitty, clerical job, which are always low-paid, just to keep anti-SAHP people happy, working to pay to get to work and for childcare. I worked full-time for 15 years and paid into the system. I agree that being a SAHP isn't easy so I'm glad that was acknowledged though.

Glittertwins Wed 09-Jan-13 13:19:48

I admit I am confused about this universal tax thing. What is is? We don't qualify for any tax credits in any shape or form therefore I have no idea what any of these 'elements' mean. The only thing we do is the childcare vouchers which is not means tested. I suspect we are not the only people here who this applies to.

Want2bSupermum Wed 09-Jan-13 21:48:56

I don't think it is right that women have the choice to return to work. It is up to the parents to decide how they want to raise their children. If the parents decide one is to stay home, and therefore not work, the family should get some sort of assistance. I think the fairest way to do this is to make raising children a minimum wage job (35hrs a week at min wage) which is deductible against the working parents income. The dual income families should be able to deduct the full cost of childcare against their income. Not that many households with no SAHP have more than 2 children.

This would make the UK truly progressive which is why politicians don't want to go there. Instead they would rather bring in rules on boards having a certain number/percentage of women.

Xenia Wed 09-Jan-13 21:56:21

The Government is very very against board quotas (a pity) . They seem to like women doing badly at a work and very very few women in the cabinet.

On benefits there is a good letter in today's FT about child benefit issues:

Think again, FT, on benefit cap

From Ms Fran Bennett.

Sir, You argue in your editorial “Child benefit cap is tough but fair” (January 7) that “the welfare state should be targeted at those who need it most”. But this is a very narrow view.

Benefits in particular have a range of aims, not limited solely to the relief of poverty – the only function a “targeted” (read: means-tested) benefit can perform. A social security system can provide mutual insurance against shared risks, and facilitate adjustment to economic change. More specifically, child benefit can help redistribute income over the life cycle to the time when families need more of it – when they have children.

But most importantly, child benefit replaced not just family allowances but also child tax allowances. For more than a century, this country has recognised that all those with children, at whatever income level, have a lower “taxable capacity” than those without. Virtually all developed countries have similar provisions, through either a tax allowance or a benefit. Now we are reneging on that.

Instead, the government is imposing a tax increase “targeted” on families with children. There are good arguments for the better off to pay more towards reducing the deficit. But there are none for picking on only those who happen to be bringing up children at the current time. The government should think again – and so should you.

Fran Bennett, Oxford, UK "

Very good points.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 09-Jan-13 22:35:10

I am still finding it difficult to understand why so many people are surprised by the present government announcements. I have said this before but here I go again. We really do have a Conservative Government who historically support a sahp and the traditional nuclear family. Of course the 2 parent working situation isn't really going to gain help from the gov in real terms. The married persons allowance will be back though.
FWIW even though nothing has been announced yet we have all heard their propositions over the past year. I think the only people who won't be out of pocket will be the married couple, one working, one sahp, with no childcare, on low income.

olgaga Thu 10-Jan-13 00:09:05

Yes morethan, I think they'll have to do something along those lines to pacify the Tory vote before 2015 - it's going to be messy though.

Or perhaps I should say, even messier.

Mosman Thu 10-Jan-13 00:17:46

David Cameron's wife gave up work when he took office, probably to set an example to all of us about standing by your man and washing his socks.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 10-Jan-13 08:10:58

Mosman, no she didn't. She moved to a part-time consultancy role.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 10-Jan-13 08:11:54

Xenia, that is an interesting letter, thanks. I'm going to ponder on taxable capacity.

Mosman Thu 10-Jan-13 09:33:24

Part time consultancy is almost more insulting actually. Doesn't physically get her arse to work but is paid a nice sum for bugger all. Nice work if you can get it.

Strix Thu 10-Jan-13 10:44:23

I'm not sure how "part time consultancy" equates to "doesn't physically get her arse to work". Want to elaborate?

She changed her role at work because she was having another baby, as I recall.

Strix Thu 10-Jan-13 10:51:36

Want2bsupermum,

If raising one's own children is be treated as paid employment, who is the employer? Surely raising those children is ultimately the parents responsibility; and therefore it seems to reason they are the employer. So, should SAHPs pay themselves and then deduct the usual enployer and employee taxes?

Not sure your plan is going to benefit SAHP.

Surely you are not suggesting that people paying to raise their own children should also pay for yours?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 10-Jan-13 11:14:54

Mosman, she started working two days per week after getting pregnant with her fourth child and after her husband took a more demanding role. If it was some kind of political statement to woo "traditionalist" votes,, I'd expect it to have happened when he became leader of the opposition.

Xenia Thu 10-Jan-13 12:12:36

Cleggs wise though does work full time www.dechert.com/miriam_gonzalez/
Cameron's see www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8700059/Samantha-Cameron-pushes-the-envelope-at-Smythson.html

It is not surprising they are taking a lot of measures against housewives and obviously many feminists are very pleased.

mam29 Thu 10-Jan-13 12:57:26

yes but they are hitting the sahm /housewife very harshly

some will lose

child benefit
now they on about scrapping vouchers.
I suspect the 2000 new one only be availible for people in work or very low income.

people already lost tax credits last year.
not many kids get free school meals

everythings going up, wages are not.

To me im baffled what they doing as they were already behind in female supported.

Labour would have done better if yvette coooper was leaer as least they look like they offer something different.

Does every other country give universil child benefit?

LexyMa Thu 10-Jan-13 13:19:20

not quite right about the FSM, mam29, the pupil premium went up from £400 ish last year to £600 in the current year, £900 next year, and the criteria for schools getting that money have been changed so that ifa child would have qualified for FSM at any time in the past 6 years, the PP can be claimed. That is how a HT explained it recently to me anyway, at a school where 47% are on FSM.

LexyMa Thu 10-Jan-13 13:20:19

and no, very few countries offer anything like universal CB.

lljkk Thu 10-Jan-13 13:27:06

But (cough, ahem) other countries encourage transferable tax allowances between spouses, and/or tax breaks for each child. UK does not have those things. ARRRGH.

lljkk Thu 10-Jan-13 13:29:45

ps: I do not understand how half of the things Xenia posts are allowed to stand. She expresses approval of "measures against housewives". If I said that I would like the government to take measures against working wives, would anybody on MN let that go? I bet MNHQ would delete it for a start.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 10-Jan-13 13:34:03

Stix.

Maybe sahps shouldn't be paid to sah, but surely you can see how wrong it is for 2 parents working to expect other tax payers to pay for their childcare. You can't have different rules for different people.
Nobody should expect others to fund their lifestyle choice , unless of course they need welfare which really should not be cut.

AnAirOfHope Thu 10-Jan-13 14:03:16

But they have passed a bill capping the welfair bill to 1% for the next 3 years?

So if you have jsa or income support it will stay the same for the next three years?

Im a sahm and recieve ctc that is paying for my share of costs so i think tax payers are paying for my life chpice as i could not afford to stay home without it!

I think tax payers should help with childcare costs.

lljk yes, I am surprised that posts approving of 'measures against housewives' are approved. Like you say, if another poster said measures should be taken against working mothers there would be an outcry. Feminism is about choice people! Choice to be a SAHM or a working mum.

Strix Thu 10-Jan-13 16:09:13

morethanpotatoprints,

Re: "how wrong it is for 2 parents working to expect other tax payers to pay for their childcare"

How do you work out that working parents are asking other parents to fund their childcare? I have been arguing for the income earned by working parents not to be taxed so that they will be able to use it on their childcare. But, it is still money those parents earned; and not money from someone else's hard work.

I just want a tax break to I can spend my own (untaxed) income on my own childcare before the government creams the tax off what is left in my pot. It seems only fair that my childcare, an expense incurred for the sole purpose of me (and DH) going to work, should be subtracted from my net income before my tax obligations are calculated.

Xenia Thu 10-Jan-13 16:09:18

What is the objection? Women on here all the time talk about the damage done by people who contract out their children,, who do not "vring them up" because they are working. There aer about 1000 comments against working mothers to one which might suggest as I do that a working mother is better for a child.

I is not factually wrong to call the recent measures measures against housewives and to approve of working parents is not a sin or a mumsnet insult or bad conduct. It is just a different view point give we are working hard to get women into positions of power and not at home, many of us. We all also lobby to get many more men in the home. There should be that choice that he can say I want 4 years at home so get back to full time work.

Indeed today's news is full of the huge rise in full time working mothers of children under 5 and good luck to them . Perhaps the recession will have unintended good consequences just as WWII did when women got out and enjoyed work and children thrived in day nurseries provided by the state. Interesting times.

Most reform whether it's the vote for women or rights to work sadly is usually economically driven by the state rather than being an issue of moral rights. To get the economy moving again you need lots of hard working tax payers and tax paid.

Strix Thu 10-Jan-13 16:13:23

Oh, and I should add that I am perfectly happy for a couple to decide that one of them stays home. I think they should be taxed as a single unit, if they so choose. It works this way in the US. You put your income together and file jointly. Then you mark your dependant and get an bit of a rebate (or whatever it is called) for each. And you have the choice of whether to file separately or individually.

olgaga Thu 10-Jan-13 19:00:15

Xenia maybe it's just your age but frankly "housewife" is not a term I would ever use to describe any woman who chooses to bring up her own children. I'ts rather pejorative, can't you appreciate that?

I would call her a mum.

There should be that choice that he can say I want 4 years at home so get back to full time work.

There's nothing, absolutely nothing to stop a man saying that today!

Viviennemary Thu 10-Jan-13 19:05:50

I can't see why people are so up in arms about the term housewife. It was in use for years and nobody was bothered. But now we aren't allowed to say it. And must say SAHM or some other term. Well that is fair enough. But a SAHM does the same thing as a Housewife used to do. And that's a fact.

WidowWadman Thu 10-Jan-13 19:55:26

olgaga - you would call her a mum. Yes, she is a mum. Just like the one who works. She brings up her own children. Just like the one who works.

You find the term housewife pejorative, I find the implications in your post about working mothers pretty insulting.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 10-Jan-13 20:59:56

Viv, I think housewife got swapped for SAHM as more women carried on working after marriage (not allowed for eg my grandmother) but stopped when they became mothers.

I expect SAHM will fade over time too as more people work flexibly throughout to combine childcare and work.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 10-Jan-13 21:43:17

Stix.

Please accept my apology, I got you all wrong. Have re read and it must have been the drugs. I am just getting over flu and was well dosed up.

Xenia Thu 10-Jan-13 22:09:25

It's like calling a dustbin man a refuse collector surely. Stay at home mother - 4 long words which still root women in house and home same as housewife. I don't see the different except one is a silly new euphemism for those whose feelings seem to get so hurt so easily. Stay at home parent may be better as gender neutral. I can understand why "non working parent" might annoy fathers and mothers who don't work but look after under 5s and do all the cleaning because it is pretty hard work when they are young if you have no help and particularly if you have 3 under 5 as we did at one point.

We certainly won't call them "mum" (a) because many of us cringe at thje word mum - a class thing (let us not exclude those who are mummies from mumsnet - there must be a place for all classes to feel comfortable here (b) because a woman who works is believe it or not a mother. In fact some of us have done more childcare than most housewives with under 5s. I will have done if you add up the hours from 28 years ago when child 1 was born. I have done more coal face hour by hour child care than most housewives on here just spread over nearly 3 decades.

Anyway the tax breaks will probably be minimal as the Government has no money so I ould not hold our breath for them. They may help those of us who hav e never qualified for a childcare voucher because we are self employed though so that could be of benefit although I expect they will put upper income limits on these too as they are a party which wants to damage enterprise and in effect say to hard workers who do well - awful you, we don't want you in the UK, we only want low earners who pay no tax. If they carry on like this when the last tax payer leaves the country and switches off the light the 50% who are net claimants will find they have nothing from which to claim but at least they won't be jealous of those who are richer, because the richer will all be gone.

mam29 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:46:18

Why is there nothing about this on news no detail?

mentioned on my fb and no seemed to have clue what was on about.

Tried too google and kept coming up with 2009 brown wants to axe childcare vouchers,

All I did find was

about new universil benefit

From dfw site.

Support for children within Universal Credit will be provided in the form of a child element. This will be included in a claimant’s Universal Credit award where they are responsible for a child or qualifying young person that normally lives with them. The child element is comprised of two rates; one rate for the first/only child and then a reduced rate for second / subsequent children.
Universal Credit will provide more support for childcare costs. Under current tax credit rules, support towards childcare costs is only available to parents who work more than 16 hours per week. Under Universal Credit, this requirement will be removed and support will be available to parents regardless of the number of hours they work. This will provide an important financial incentive to those taking their first steps into paid employment. It will mean that around 80,000 extra families will be eligible to receive support through childcare.
Universal Credit is expected to be particularly beneficial to lone parents, including those who wish to work a small number of hours."

Also im baffled how this will work out.

use 2examples.

family a-married couple man working mum at home.
man low income so they did get child tax credits, cb
inaddition to housing benefit and council tax relief.

so mans on 18k gross.
he then gets £1000+month benefits on top as hes low income.
he then gets newt amount same as someone on 38k gross.
I know this as know couple who get this and my oh used to earn 38k gross which is about £2300 net a month.
yes the mans paying tax and ni on his 18k but suspect hes getting more back from benefits than what hes paid?

family 2 single mum-so pays no credit no limits to work.

so she takes 6-12hour job

shes under the tax threshhold income tax,
You have to work min 16hours to pay ni contributions.
but gets free 8hours childcare to help her to work.

I dont feel they penalising women per say.

But do feel like they penalising middle incomes who soon will be entitled to no tax relief, no benefits yet they paying lots of tax and ni and everythings rising it feels unfair.

Watching question time on how pensioners should be protected is cheesing me off a bit.

I have bee working mum and a sahm mum

I do think choice is important.

you cant force people back to work if there are no jobs or they cant afford childcare.

Right now cant see and solutions agree benefit bills to high needs to be trimmed but they unfairness is awful.

mam yes, it is all unfair on middle incomes. Work hard, get promoted, just get into higher tax band and hey presto, it's all give, give and no hope of improving your own lifestyle. We will certainly not be voting Conservative, or Lib Dem again. Even my parents who were die hard Tory voters will not be.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 11-Jan-13 07:58:35

There's no detail because they want to announce stuff a bit at a time.

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 08:28:40

lexyma I believe we are the only developed country not to give some sort of universal child benefit.

Xenia Fri 11-Jan-13 08:58:18

mam, that is very helpful.
I heard Iain D-S on Radio 4 the other day (he was very good and genuinely is trying help). He did make the point that under the last Government you could earn £60,000 and still get tax credits,. I suspect they would like those in work not to be having benefits. If that change did occur employers may then have to put wages up (in order to get staff) as a lot of tax credits, housing benefits for those in work support low wages.

I certainly agree that is the middle earners who are most likely to lose out, lose child benefit, perhaps will lose when universal credit comes in.

However it is done savings have to be made somewhere.

mam29 Fri 11-Jan-13 09:05:24

Im not even losing my benefit when first announced at conference they mentioned £42,000 figure hubbys 41 but we far from rich we get by.

True we chose for our kids to have hobbies and activities as they enjoy them and think its good for them as schools offer so little extra currcicular.

We cant afford private fees.

we try have 1 cheapish uk holiday a year and 2-3days out as hubby works retail he works 50+hours week no overtime. He works weekends, nearly every bank holiday, worked xmas eve and boxing day so family time is quite limited feel like single parent most weekends when other families are together.

In week sometimes he works long days so kids dont see him at all so both school runs, homework, tea and bedtimes all down to me.
Then when he gets home he has homecooked meal on table and fairly clean house.

Im not worlds best housewife we live in house we outgrown
3messy kids. I have jno grandparent help with kids.
My family over hour away, mil never leaves house and only wants to see 1 child a t a time.

middle child 3 gets free funding this month 15hours which will help
but since september paid 2terms of preschool
since shes 18months paid 1 day private nursery fees with vouchers as its been good fotr her educational development because shes sept born got extra year of childcare to fund and unsure when can afford to start her younger brother hes 2 in april.

We dont own our own home we pay private landlord.
no housing benefot
council tax is fair whack and utilities rising.
We need least 1 car but running car and petrol is high.

we realy are quite cautious these ays rarly go out.
we budget and meal plan but each month im tweaking things .

lower income freinds think we loaded but i would day 40-60k depending where you live and net not rich .
We bit the age bracket going on luxury cruioses or have maximum amounts in our isa. We sometimes dont out heating on as no allowance to fall back on we on our own.

I stayed up late last night watched this week on cbbc1 and janet street porter defended oaps.

All she kept saying was

they paid in all their lives-like anyone hos worked in past hasent.

They largest most engaged voting group.

That brown brought in many of these benefits which now too hard to take away

Yet this next generation of retirees be wealthiest in generations.

But their benefits remain in line with cpi and others rpi which is less.

Their benefits not capped-ringfenced rises

they get to keep winter fuel allowance no matter how rich they are or if they live in spain.

Because its too expensive to means test yet they can do same for cb.

same with free bus passes issued paid bus companies which some hold and hardly use.Sometimes I wasl miles ith toddler in tow as buses so pricey £3 to get from one end road

Free tv licence.

I guess they thourght we small %of electorate.

Not sure how many families will lose.

also the 4 parents on 49k keep theirs

More and more people being dragged until higher rate tax.

yesterday one pensioners minister warned 20-30 group that we may never retire we have no private pensions. probably work until 73 and we would have paid in too.

Im not sure ho to vote. I hate labour,
if I vote ukip then thats a vote for labour.

Going to write to my mp.

Sadly unless we start getting our voice accross then nothing get done,

How do families become as powerful as oaps,

we vote every election.

Those not effected by rises still getting their benefit wont care.
news kepts going on about how we just too wealthy and its only fair.
I know so many people working and non working living life on benefits and financially better off than us.

Today eldest cried as she wasent school dinners today as dident have money on me tuesday to pay for it.

The change is happening with cb nothing we can do.
But guess we can change out vote.

Problem is with media is they either very wealthy or have no one with kids to discuss the matter its like working families dont matter.

When they have families on tv its always the poorer ones. guess makes better veiwing.

If hubby were to hypotheitically quit his well paid job then state be screweed then.Not that he is but we striving and failing.

Until all groups treated fairly then we not all in this together.
new ssaid doubt he touch pensioners this side of election thats 2years away whilst families continue to struggle.

I wish i could pick labour shaow cabinet as whilst they have milliband and balls at top cant trust them.

I dont think ukip wil become 3rd party.
Lib dems have no power.

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 09:28:46

The bus pass thing is really annoying; we are losing some or all of the cb, depending on dh's exact income this year (& paying a tax rate of 72% because we have 4 kids ; interesting how 50% is too high for millionaires but 72% is ok for families on modest incomes).

OAPs are all entitled to free bus passes, but our kids have to pay £52 a month just for a bus pass to get to school (no school bus so at the mercy of the public bus company who have a monopoly and therefore charge vast amounts).

I calculated that by the time my youngest is through secondary, we will have spent seventeen and a half thousand pounds just on getting the kids to school. They are at a state school, and there are no other options for transport.

And if dh jacked in his job we'd get them free.

It is really quite ridiculous that the Tories have played this game of divide and rule, making out that people on 50k+ are rich. There are so many calls on your income at that level, losing child benefit is a real blow.

mam29 Fri 11-Jan-13 10:14:39

Looked at hubbys payslip and wish I hadent.

bare in mind this is combined.

800quid tax and ni per month so nearly 10grand out of 41k is taxed. so its a lot.

our rents and bills approx 1000- per month possibly more.

so thats 12k before paying out food
travel
phone
other bills
childcare,.

we not exactly rolling in it .

what people forget about benefits is say they get 25-30k a year thats net not taxed so they better off.

Even faith doesnt get free bus pass and know someone paying 60quid a month school bus but how else you meant to get them to school?

Also its the higher educated that tend to get higher salaries.

I have student loans to pay back.

I dident buy at right time so can live off the equity of my house.
we wouldent be eligible for social housing.
I dont have wealthy family to give me deposit to buy

we dont have savings they dwindles when kids were born
we ont ahve private pensions.

I cant imagine the 50-60k are rolling in it.
As they will be more taxed.

if you have more then1/2children

childcare becomes very probamatic and expensive.

I want to go back hence why going self employed this year as no ones going to help us. we will get by and hopefully acheive our goals despite the co-alition shafting us.

Strix Fri 11-Jan-13 10:30:28

Really good posts, mam29. It is high time the government (and the people) realise that hard working people are paying too much for too little.

My situation is a bit better than yours, but we have nothing to show for our hard work at the end of the month. Its no wonder people chuck in their job and let other people pay the bills. Ho hum....

olgaga Fri 11-Jan-13 11:00:53

Stay at home mums reject 'housewife' tag.

Widow we are all mums. Some choose to work outside the home and pay someone else to care for their children. Some work in the home, caring for their children - not "caring" for, or wedded to, their house!

The term "housewife" dates back to the 1950s when women were expected to give up their jobs on marriage - whether they had children or not.

SAHM reflects the fact that you are staying at home while your children are young and need care - a necessary task which would otherwise have to be carried out by a paid worker.

Nowadays if women give up their job it's for their children, not because society expects them to. That is why most women feel the word "housewife" is obsolete and inaccurate, and why its use is considered pejorative.

olgaga spot on.

LexyMa Fri 11-Jan-13 11:16:59

Thing is though that if you are in this 30-60k range of working hard to pay the mortgage and bus your kids and yourself to school/work, but having not a lot else to show for it, you can't just snap your fingers and jack it all in to live off the state. You would have to totally change your lifestyle to drop a lot of the things you do that you don't even see as luxuries.

It's the transition that hurts, and when CB/tax thresholds are moved while costs of living are going in the opposite direction and you have to run even faster just to stand still, that is painful and feels unfair because it's inflicted on you even when you were 'playing the game' as the Government seemed to be asking, work hard, pay your share etc.

I'm a central govt civil servant, I don't grumble about what I am paid or my T&Cs, they are very good. I agree that from 2005-10 we created too many non-jobs and had a creeping inflation of the grades of those which existed, instead of moving people through more visible salary spine point progression. However to correct that, we are now on a (2? 3? 4? year) pay freeze, a steep pension contribution increase, pensionable age drift (up), pension amount forecast (down - not that that means anything, as CS pensions for my generation will be paid out of the tax take in the 2050s on, whatever that amounts to). I didn't take redundancy because I believe in the value of what I do. But the government doesn't seem to - we now have zero 'employee engagement' type of strategies, no meaningful training, job/pay progression is a lottery of who can talk the talk, and the internal cynicism and lack of vocation is becoming so serious that I think it should be considered a business continuity/security issue.

Muminwestlondon Fri 11-Jan-13 11:18:34

If the govt care about childcare so much why do they let TORY councils close LA run nurseries, make them extortionately expensive or reduce their hours. If they want to subsidise child care, do it at the point of use.

£2000 would probably buy you just over a month at a private nursery in the area I live.

There is also a massive shortage of childminders around here. The only ones I could find were a smoker and someone who thought it was OK to slap kids around; found out later the good ones had a two year waiting list.

I worked when my children were little because I had to, but worked different hours to DH and we didn't have much of a life. I think child care or lack of it, dominated my life for around 5 years.

curryeater Fri 11-Jan-13 11:22:42

mam29, great posts. Your circs are really similar to ours (except DP has been a SAHD instead of me being the SAHM). I feel a bit tearful actually, I am sick of working so hard and being so fucking broke all the time. DP is starting work next week, we will be paying 2 pre-schoolers in childcare and all the housework falling to us at evenings and weekends so is this actually going to feel like a better life? (not relevant as it is what he wants and needs to do, so my selfish desire to have someone loading the washing machine while I am at work is neither here nor there)

Lilybolero, what do you mean by 72% tax as you have children? Sorry if i am being thick.

We can't afford the heating. I am working from home with a hat and gloves on in a room that is 6 degrees c. My daughter is playing downstairs with blue fingers. We have no money left, my other daughter suddenly has no clothes that fit and is going out in dresses well above the knee until the 25th when I will jump on ebay and buy up whatever I can get for her to last her till summer... and then it will start again. I walk 5 miles a day because there is no way I can afford bus or tube fare once I get off the train. I can't see what else to stop buying or turn off. I have a few things left to sell and that's it.

Everyone around me at work has been made redundant, I am working like a bastard, no one is getting a pay rise, no one is getting a promotion. Where is it leading?

Strix Fri 11-Jan-13 11:41:14

Curryeater,
How old is the DD who is in need of clothes? (just wondering if I might have some to spare)

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 11:43:30

curryeater - because of the way the CB is withdrawn, we are between that 50-60k bracket. Every extra pound dh earns, 40p goes to the government in income tax, and with 4 children, 30p also is taken off the child benefit. When you factor in national insurance contributions as well, it means that for every extra pound dh earns, we are 28p better off.

With even more children you can end up paying the government more than you are earning.

It's marginal rates, but marginal rates of tax are what can highlight unfairnesses. What is the incentive for dh to work longer hours to boost his salary if 3/4 of it goes to the government? And certainly for people on 150k +, they argued that 50% was too high a rate to be an incentive, so I cannot see why for people on 50k, 72% is ok.

Strix Fri 11-Jan-13 11:48:23

WE should have a thread whereby the squeezed middle class go and tell their stories, and then we should send it to the government and to the newspapers and ask the government to please announce immediately what they plan to do about it.

There is an e-petition on making all childcare completely tax deductible. I posted a link recently, I'll see if I can find it.

Strix Fri 11-Jan-13 11:51:06
LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 12:05:24

What people don't realise about the child benefit cut is that imo it is entirely ideological - it is part of the 'divide and rule' politics that makes them set the 'squeezed middle' against the 'deserving' and the 'undeserving' poor. All the rhetoric about strivers vs skivers, and the arguments that 'people on low incomes shouldn't be subsidising those on middle incomes to receive child benefit' is not putting a case for the cuts, it's turning groups against each other.

the child benefit is a brilliant example - they say 80% of people agree with it. But that's the 80% not affected by it. The same with the benefits cap - they ask a load of people if they agree with it, and people not affected say 'yes that sounds sensible'.

You can't just ask people who are not affected, because how will they know what the implications are. The child benefit cut is so that when the people affected by the benefits cap say 'hey, we are already poor' they can say 'yes, but look, we've hurt the middle as well'.

The cut to the top rate of tax is inexplicable. Their argument that 'the rich are paying MORE tax' is insane - because the reason they are paying more tax is because their earnings have risen more - the only salaries that are going up are the very top ones.

I fully appreciate that everyone needs to contribute, but I don't appreciate why it is families with children that have to bear the brunt of it. A re-jigging of the tax system would have been far more progressive, because it is intrinsically fair. Imo they should have left the personal allowance where it was (because raising it to 10k and then taking all the money back again through benefits cuts is just increasing admin). Then the HRT threshold should have been moved to 70k, which is more in line with where it should be - 42k is just crazy - BUT should have been put up to 42 or 43%, and THEN abolish the 50% rate of tax. You'd need to jiggle the figures to make them work, but that way the top incomes really would be contributing the most. I'd have even been happier to leave the HRT threshold where it was and stick a penny or two on it, rather than this divisive and unfair cut to child benefit, and the divisive language used to justify the benefit cap also.

takeaway2 Fri 11-Jan-13 12:12:50

I'm hoping that the gov is reading this. I'm going to give you my breakdown of income and general outgoings in the hope that the gov can see that the so called middle is so squeezed we can do no more and if you squeeze us more, there won't be any tax for you to claim anymore.

Income is £46k before tax. Looking at my pay slip,
Tax and NI combined is £860.
So that's more than £10k out already. Leaving us £35k.
Mortgage is £750. Gas and elec is £100. Council tax is £150. Of course there's water bills, tv license and others. So lets call that £1200/month x12= £14400. Leaving us £20k.
Childcare costs me roughly £800 but £243 is from my wage anyway so that costs another £10k. (For these purposes I've only multiplied £800x12. I know that £243 isn't taxed but I'm just adding it here for convenience as am on phone).
At one point I was paying two lots of childcare as older child has only started reception last September.

Leaving us with £10k. This is to cover food, nappies, insurances for car, house etc, petrol, mot, Christmas, birthdays, activities, clothes, etc. for two adults, 1 reception and 1 toddler.

My dh was made redundant. When he was working, his pay paid for the childcare. Thankfully because I had a job, he could setup on his own and thankfully despite this recession, he's doing pretty well. But because he's self employed, he couldn't claim any benefits of any sort. So we tend not to include his income and we are surviving on mine. His income is a bonus to us. But due to the nature of self employed and new, I can't really count on that regularly.

So. It's by no means rich. It's by no means rolling in it. Yes if I had no kids, I'll have £800 more a month! Or even more due to not having to buy nappies!

But the fact is we do. And we are providing for them as best we can. Some weeks my son gets school dinners and I then take packed lunch. This week we both are on packed lunch. To save £11/week of lunches for him and save £15/week for me.

We are eating out the store cupboards and only buying necessities like milk and bread. I'm making tuna pasta and corn beef hash (ala uni days!) to save money etc. I'm not attending panto and all that to save £100 for the family. I time going out times with the kids so we don't have to eat out. Or I bring lots of fruit and snacks to tide them over.

Not trying to be 'woe is me' because yes we are thankful we can pay mortgage etcetc but just to give the picture that the middle is by no means rolling in it. And yes I'm shopping at Aldi's esp since they've just opened a couple of months before Christmas!!

curryeater Fri 11-Jan-13 12:15:55

Right, Lily, I get it.

And your 12.05 post is spot on.

Strix - thank you! But I am just moaning, there are lots of people who need them far more than me, I would rather you gave them to a really desperate person or charity. I just need to get my itchy ebay fingers tippety-tapping (selling, and then buying, as soon as we get paid) and she'll be sorted for very little money. It's just, you know, how suddenly there is so much leg that wasn't there yesterday smile

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 11-Jan-13 12:37:57

Lily, don't forget that 50% tax payers also pay NI.

But your point about marginal tax rates is well made.

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 12:43:43

yes, I appreciate that. It was more about the argument really; the argument was that 50% was too high, but we as a non-wealthy family are paying 72%.

Xenia Fri 11-Jan-13 14:19:53

Yes, that is the issue and it was the same with those people on the margin who lose 100% of their single person allowance once they go over a certain level (cannot remember the level) which also means a marginal rate of 60 or 70%.

curryeater, that sounds hard and you are trying to do the right thing. Can we help? I remember the stage when we both worked full time and had 3 children under 5 and our childcare cost was 50% of each of our pay (or one of us was working for nothing whichever way you want to look at it). I felt that my career had progression and would have salary rises (which proved true) so it paid off inthe end but all that coming home to doing washing etc is very hard.

Eventually we could afford some help so we'd put the washer and dishwasher on and the cleaner would empty it a few times a week which helped but you need money for that.

I think there should be much more publicity of what net pay people have left over even on £60k salaries after they pay for mortgage, full time childcare, travel to work and tax/NI. I don't think people have any idea that a single mother on £50k pays £14k tax/NI, £14k mortgage, £14k childcare for one full time nursery place and is about in the same money left over bracket as a sdingle parent on benefits with all her rent paid. People just say - wow she earns £50k she must be rich.

Ultimately those stll working will win out because they are keeping careers going (loads of women on musmnet who give up work in all kinds of good jobs find in essence they hardly ever can work again at the same levek, career shot to pieces because they chose to have 5 years at home cleaning and doing childcare which they didn't much like anyway) and secondly when they keep working they may get promotion. The£100k mothers are not squeezed middle and it's easier for them and you tend not to get to £100k unless you keep working up and up. Also when children go to school those paying a lot of childcare won't have to so they have a bit more money then.

olgaga Fri 11-Jan-13 15:21:05

Xenia you keep giving this example of this poor single mum on £50,000pa but if she's paying a mortgage she would end up owning a house, which is a pretty large asset by anyone's standards - and one which a lone parent on benefits could only dream about.

Plus you have ignored the fact that she should also be in receipt of child maintenance, which depending on whether the father earned below £800pw (gross) would be 12% or £800-3000 per week 9% of his salary.

And aren't you always telling us that in your world childcare costs are joint? So £7,000 of her childcare costs would no doubt be paid for by the father...!

LilyBolero Fri 11-Jan-13 16:00:03

But what is the benefit of owning a house? We can't afford to move, because we live in a high house price area and would pay £££ in stamp duty (25k+). Then if we need care in old age it is sold and used to pay that bill. If you don't own a house, that is paid for by the state. So a house, although certainly an asset, is not always realisable in cash terms.

curryeater Fri 11-Jan-13 16:14:57

Xenia, you are making me well up. I thought you were going to say I should have trained for better paid work! (true)

mam29 Fri 11-Jan-13 16:15:27

I think media need to avertise net figures for the 40-60k year groups and highlight how much tax they do pay. That kind of salary more common in london .southeast where living costs and childcares higher.

People seem to this this group are rich when in reality they worse off than benefit claimants whos low income topped up or unemployed and all their money is net so 26k cap they literally get 26k combined benefits.

If i had housing benefit paying rent then i would have more disposable income

Takeway 2 we like twins as my rents £725 a year rising for tiny 1reception 3bed semi detached terrace on new build estate.
My coucil tax £153 power about 110 per month and water around 45, phone, internet and tv £60 and £15 house contents.

Food we try keep to 250-300 a month,

only middle child has nursery/preschool which is £160 a month.

School age child does rainbows , gym and cheerleading on average 100 a month. breckfast club opnly once a week £2 so can get child 2 to diffrent school in opposite direction.

School dinners we fused to just do 4days packed lunches and friday school dinners depending on how skint we are this week shes been all packed lunches and whinging about it this morning but school dinners have to be paid weekly lump sum and start of week.
would love to do school dinners all time but when all 3 at school will mean £120 month school dinners.

As for seeing pensioners free bus passes yet child cant get to school. How can we have free education without free transport lea rarly pay and school places not enough so some travel miles and pay more for it.

we live off cupboards shop aldis, lidls buy reduced and value foods and had some interesting creations. Hate week before payday.

on 46k you keep child benefit.

Xenia in part agree with you but

I reckon lost maybe 5grand-8grand off salary whilst taking break.
because wages not rising that fast and retail was crap money.it depends what person does before having a baby.
So if public sector frozen for 3years then they take 3year break providing can get old job back.

You made great sacrafices ie marriage, financial in earl;y days paying half salary to childcare , private schools for 5! But paid off as you have education, skill and sheer dogged determination and ambition not to let knockbacks and others bother you , you have your priciples and stick to them and you offer some good advice and valuable lessons however nopt every mum can earn 100k or even 50k. Most work thats fits in around kids is low paid min wage and unskilled and jobs so competative mums are bottom of pile of applications as they inflexible.

My husbands 40 yes hes made couple bad choices stayed in couple companies too long and on 41k hes take no career breaks but he shoul;d be higher up and earning more than he is, it bother him but find in past sometimes its right place right time, lucky break know some useless over promoted area managers in past who sell their garnny to get ahead.

Also family time is being eroded. whos keeping an eye on the teens? parents working opposite shifts just to get by hard on kids mine cry a lot they miss their daddy some days.

people think will get better when starts school but thats even more incovieniant and now childcare vouchers not availiable to over 5s and 2000 would last 2half months full time nursery.

How will parents afford and find good school age childcare without vouchers?

The ones getting tax credits an what ever else wont care about the middle and ones 100,000 plus wont care either. I guess we squeezed middle as theres so few of us to kick up a fuss we easy targets.

Child benefits never been enough to raise a family but it helps pay uniform, hobbies ect. shoes it was recognition that every child matters an every child treated equally.

If its good enough for oaps.
in 12years i worked fulltime I paid ni and tax. also student loan back.

I only had one lot stat maternity leave as left work before 1st child.

Eldest had pointless child trust and health in pregnancy grant was waste money even midwives admitted it.

I know people on low income who got 500quid maternity grant for each child they had . Now its restricted to 1st child but during labour years they had larger families as meant more money read earlier one woman got 500quid a week in cb a alone.

add in housing benefit. tax credits and child benefit and they dont count maintaince from absent father as income.

I agreed with tax credits scrapped for lower earners even though lost mine but dont agree with cb or getting rid childcare vouchers.

Also whilst im on rant mode discovered new loans for business start ups only 18-30 makes me at 32 too old.

I never planned to be a sahm mum just kind of happened.

we always wanted 3kids
all 3were planned
we could afford the kids without tax credits or any other benefits.
we would adapt if lost cb but would be kids that suffer really.
they would have to give up something or would need to make further cutbacks.

I know it sound terribly old fashioned but if could transfer my tax allowance to hubby whilst im not working I would as family be better off. would give him up to 18tax free then.

Xenia Fri 11-Jan-13 16:22:26

olg, many iof we single parents are not paid a penny by an ex and have no contribution to childcare from them. Don't think we live in clover with masses of child support. Many men sadly just disappear and don't pay a penny so my example is not that rare.

Also plenty of those single mothers take out interest only mortgages so will never be free of the debt so much the same as the single parent not working whose rent is paid by the state but yes I agree if it is a repayment mortgage of £14k a year after 25 - 30 y ears she might indeed then when she's about 55 be better off than the single parent in rented place who does not work.

I agree there should be more publication of people's pay at various levels after they pay typical housing costs for that area, childcare costs, travel to work and of course tax and national insurance. I don't think those in areas like Wales where very few people pay more tax than they get back from the system have any idea that the £50k single mothers or even families are no better off than a Welsh £20k worker with cheaper house prices. They think the Londoner on £50k has gold cars and expensive holidays.

olgaga Fri 11-Jan-13 17:07:48

Xenia you are the one who is always pointing out that childcare is a joint cost and that women should expect the fathers to pay half. Presumably your high-earning woman would too? That's why I mention it. Yes obviously a lot of women receive nothing from their children's fathers (doh) - I'm just saying you haven't accounted for the possibility that this woman would receive child maintenance - as most do.

If you want an interest only mortgage, you have to have 35-50% deposit, so you are talking about someone who has substantial equity to start with, plus a means of paying off the loan (such as a pension lump sum) if capital gains aren't enough. It's called "affordability criteria". However, like everyone else on an interest-only mortgage, your single parent is banking on the capital gains to pay off the loan plus a reasonable return on her investment.

You have acknowledged yourself that only the top 5% of all workers earn over £50,000. The average wage is half that, and the median is £18,500.

So only 5 in every 100 workers earn £50,000. How many of them will be women? Well women's earnings are still on average 20% below men's. I wouldn't put it higher than 1% of all workers earning over £50,000 being your mythical well-off female single parents.

However, if you can find me the figures which say otherwise I'll happily accept that I am wrong.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 11-Jan-13 17:40:31

Olgaga, I'm paying an interest only mortgage and we only had a 15% deposit (and could have had much less)

olgaga Fri 11-Jan-13 22:22:54

Doctrine you say we only had a 15% deposit. I'm guessing you're not a single mum.

I invite you to read this. Things may have moved on since you got your mortgage agreement. You now need at least 35% equity. Many providers have now withdrawn IO mortgages completely. NatWest, Nationwide, RBS, Co-op, Santander have all withdrawn IO mortgages completely, along with other smaller building societies too - Newcastle, Coventry, Leek. Lloyds have now blocked IO mortgages for anyone who thinks they can pay off their loan through savings and ISAs. Virgin have substantially amended their criteria. You have to have a big wedge of LTV deposit, a guaranteed pension lump sum, a large amount of savings or investments or own other property/properties to get approval for IO.

Regardless of that - you are not a single mum earning £50,000pa with no maintenance coming in, and solely responsible for paying for childcare are you? So your experience doesn't actually compare with the example Xenia has plucked out of thin air.

The point I'm making is, there are vanishingly few people in the position Xenia describes.

And the point I would make to you is, I hope you have a clear repayment strategy - because you may well need it.

Xenia Fri 11-Jan-13 23:07:50

My daughter got an interest only mortgage with a lower % than 35% last month but arguing these details is not my point.

I just want those on low incomes to know that families or single mothers on £50,000 probably have exactly the same net disposable income as someone on £20k or state benefits. That is the really interesting bit about our welfare state. As benefits are a reasonable living there is not a huge difference between many people working very hard and those who do nothing.

The fact my £50k single mother may be a rarity does not change my figures or analysis. I have not plucked my figures out of thin air. there are single mothers on £50k getting no support from a father or single by choice who work full time and have a net income around benefits level. Yes they may well own a house when they are nearly old but that does not put extra food on their table now. I agree that if we make her a housewife and her husband works and earns £50k on my sums they save about £14k a year on childcare so they do have more - £22k after mortgage and tax. But we need to take travel to work, suits, work clothes off that for the husband. Say another £5k which leaves them with not a huge amount. So those thinking £50k wow those people are rich just need to get out their calculators.

My advice is women should pick careers much better paid than £50k. We need to return to the women who earn £1000 a day thread really and ensure daughters are fullly aware what they might earn and seize the day and have a great high paid career not go into beauty therapy or work down the local Tescos.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 11-Jan-13 23:08:31

I'm not denying that things have changed, but they could have changed for Xenia's single mum as well (partner deserted after property was acquired, property acquired pre-2008 etc).

Anyway, I think the wider point about how costs as well as income need to be considered when looking at how various measures affect various people is sound.

olgaga Sat 12-Jan-13 00:23:30

I think the wider point about how costs as well as income need to be considered when looking at how various measures affect various people is sound.

However, this is a vastly more pressing problem for poor families than it is for anyone earning £50,000 pa - single parent or not.

The Government?s claim that work will pay for the UK?s most disadvantaged families under Universal Credit is simply wrong. (Barnardo's)

Mosman Sat 12-Jan-13 03:24:17

The single mum who's a high earner is also hopefully likely to have her head screwed on about picking a father for her child who isn't a knob and pays maintence voluntarily or if not how to go about extracting it.
You'd hope do at least.

AnnoyedAtWork Sat 12-Jan-13 09:48:08

I am "middle income" working mum. Receive no maintenance or help with childcare costs from the father of my child. Pay £1100 childcare per month from my own net salary. My partner does not contribute as father of child does not and also I earn a lot more than my partner so don't feel he should.

However we are flat broke like many on similar incomes who pay out a huge % in tax and childcare. I can't afford a tube travel card and we eat basic meals and spend all our evenings and weekends doing housework as can't afford help. we both work long hours but is only way we can see to perhaps have a chance of getting a better standard of living in the future - but if we have a baby this is unlikely to happen hmm

AnnoyedAtWork Sat 12-Jan-13 09:52:56

Also sometimes you don't "pick" the father of your child eg when you are an impressionable 18 year old! What a silly thing to say. Also circs around fathers not paying maintenance cane be complex.

AnnoyedAtWork Sat 12-Jan-13 09:56:41

Also I really feel for single mothers who are dependent on ex for maintenance and help with childcare costs as men often use this as power over the mother. Sad but true. Would hate to be in that situation rather be poor and independent.

olgaga Sat 12-Jan-13 11:04:17

My daughter got an interest only mortgage with a lower % than 35% last month but arguing these details is not my point.

My point stands that you would have to have a deposit for such a mortgage well out of the reach of most single people.

I would rather concern myself with the vast majority of people who earn a lot less than £50,000pa, singles and couples, who are set to be hit hard with the combination of the benefit cap and the housing benefit/room tax changes.

Let's hope your single mum on £50,000pa manages to keep her job, otherwise she will find out just how hard it is for everyone else.

You're always telling us that if only girls had more ambition than working in a nail bar they could discover that there are tons of jobs for them on £50,000pa, ignoring the fact that there are comparatively very few jobs in the employment market which pay that kind of salary either for women or men - and most of them in any case are in London.

Yes I agree that ideally, all women would be educated to a high level and become ambitious, independent, upper-decile workers whose long-term economic circumstances are unaffected by childbirth.

But that is so far from the reality for most women it remains a philosophy rather than a reality.

You also ignore market forces. A salary of £50,000 or above represents the upper decile of the labour market. That means you can strive all you like, but only one in ten people will ever have a chance of earning that kind of money.

Your example is so extreme, it is completely meaningless. So why don't you just say what you really mean, Xenia, about single mothers on benefits?

Xenia Sat 12-Jan-13 11:23:17

I'm not quite sure what the pionts being made are. Mine is accurate and it was simply that a single mother on that sum has not that much more and in some cases less than the mother subject to the new benefits cap of the ridiculously high sum of £26,000 a year who for that will have her housing paid for and not have to do a day's work in her life whereas her twin sister working for £50k day in day out perhaps has less money whilst the benefits claimants on look on with green eyed jealousy because they think the £50k is some kind of rich person.

The benefit cap? Far far too high - £26k a year for doing absolutely nothing! What has this country come to.

olgaga Sat 12-Jan-13 15:14:24

the mother subject to the new benefits cap of the ridiculously high sum of £26,000 a year who for that will have her housing paid for and not have to do a day's work in her life...The benefit cap? Far far too high - £26k a year for doing absolutely nothing! What has this country come to.

Thank you Xenia, for finally saying what you mean. Please, in future why not just say this instead of dressing up your "scrounger-bashing" as some kind of cod feminist philosophy.

I'm sure a high-flyer such as yourself understands perfectly well the points I am making. Feigning ignorance whenever you're challenged is silly, and may I say it's getting more than a little tedious.

If you can't understand the points I'm making then I'm sure, as a feminist, you will perhaps understand what the Fawcett Society are saying about benefit cuts:

Women rely more on benefits and tax credits than men, in particular due to their caring responsibilities and their relative economic inequality and poverty. In fact, on average, one-fifth of women?s income is made up of welfare payments and tax credits compared to one-tenth for men. Put another way, benefits make up twice as much of women?s income than men?s.

Xenia Sat 12-Jan-13 15:21:48

I always say what I mean. I think the poor have no idea how little of £50k full time workers keep after tax and that should be made much clearer.

If women rely more on benefits that is more fool them isn' t it? They don't have a lower IQ. They can pass exams so why be the idiot who picks low paid work or panders to a man cleaning at home whilst he earns more? Be the individualist - look after yourself, work hard, don't rely on men to earn and don't clean up after men.

One thing this recession is doing very well is giving a very good kick up the bottom of some women and indeed plenty of them are now flocking back to full time work , those with under 5s and that is hugely good for children, for women, for equality within couples and for the nation. Win win all round.

lljkk Sat 12-Jan-13 19:15:36

You do indeed give the impression that you think of most people as fools, Xenia.

confused People can't flock back into work if the jobs aren't there, and they don't get to be choosy about what salary they'll accept nowadays, either.

LilyBolero Sat 12-Jan-13 19:27:05

I totally agree that there should be more visibility of what a salary of 50k actually gives you to take home.

And I think the comparison with the benefits cap of 26k is a useful one. Remember that the 26k is tax free. Person on 50k, after tax, has about 35k.

But. Then there are the extras. If we assume 4 kids, as I know those figures from personal experience...

3k child benefit for each - so 29k, and 38k.

Free school dinners - for 4 children this is about £44 a week, which is equal to about £1500 a year, so 30.5k against 38k.

Free bus passes - for 4 children in our area this is equivalent to £600 a year - for 4 kids, that's another £2400 a year - so 33k against 38k.

Council Tax benefit - let's say another 1k a year (that is less than many bands in our area) - 34k against 38k.

Plus many school trips are subsidised for 'low incomes'

And then the person on the supposed 50k salary has to pay for transport to work, clothes for work, possibly child care etc etc

Do you see what I mean? I am not for one SECOND suggesting that life is 'easy' on benefits. What I am saying is that the difference between the figures that the public say is 'difficult to manage on' (26k benefits) and the figure that is portrayed as a 'top income' (50k) is vanishingly small or even non-existent.

AnAirOfHope Sat 12-Jan-13 19:32:15

I disagree i have two under five and im fighting to stay at home and raise them myself. I bf them this benefits everyone my health theirs and the tax pay because of the health benefits bf provides. I could not bf ob demand if i was at work.

I provide them with a stable emotionally responsive main cearer so they will form healthy long term relationships when adults.

bf and emotional stubility provide the foundation for learning and increased IQ so that they will be more productive and higher earming adults.

I can target learning more to their needs and interest to incearse yheir learning protential.

Children are our future tax payer and decision makers they have more value than you are giving them Xena.

SAHM are influancing the future population and need investing in and respect.

For truly productive and creative people a few years out of paid work is no barrier to long term success.

WidowWadman Sat 12-Jan-13 20:31:22

Breastfeeding and work aren't mutually exclusive.

AnAirOfHope Sat 12-Jan-13 22:11:52

It is if you breastfeed on demand. I need to be with my child 24/7 day and night and so far work does not allow women to take their babies or toddler to work.

The more the child feeds the more milk supply is stable and at the right levels when you introduce long abcences from the child and pumping and the full night sleep to be productive at work bf and work come in to conflict.

The benefits of bf get better the longer the child is bf it lows adult obsety cancer heart problems hightens IQ improves the immune system saving the NHS money and paying more taxs as a higher earner.

ceeveebee Sat 12-Jan-13 22:18:18

Anairofhope, surely after 9- 12 months maternity leave, most babies are no longer EBF - nutritional needs met by solids at that age. No reason to stay at home just because of BF - I bf my twins until 10 months and by then it was just morning and evening

olgaga Sat 12-Jan-13 22:28:46

For truly productive and creative people a few years out of paid work is no barrier to long term success.

I wholeheartedly agree. If you're going to have children, you should give them the best start you can, no matter what.

Xenia Sat 12-Jan-13 22:46:23

Let us leave breastfeeding to one side. I demand fed twins and worked and I am no superwoman and with the older children I could express often at work and the children were fed by our nanny my milk when I was not at home from a bottle - that is still demand feeding and it meant I could financially provide for them.

The best start in life for most children is a high earning working mother who breastfeeds surely and works full time? Why is that not the best start? Why would someone assume mother at home is best? Most women work.

takeaway2 Sat 12-Jan-13 22:49:53

Why are we bringing bf into this argument? But if you wish...
I bf my first child till aged 2. We stopped because it got to painful; realized I was pregnant with no 2. He refused formula. Would wait for me to bf him at the start of the day, during my lunch (I rushed to nursery) and then at the end of the day. Whilst we are talking about this, I also blw him.

Baby no 2 is now over 2 years old. And she's also bf. still in fact. But eats v well, also blw.

I went back to ft work when they were both 6 months old. We couldn't afford for me not to be at work. Despite the fact that we both have postgraduate qualifications and in an ideal world would be seen to be highly qualified and professional members of society.

And good job I did have a job because dh got made redundant when baby 2 was 1. Otherwise we would have had to sell up, move to council house or something and get some handout. So frankly having a job has saved the gov some benefit claim from my family.

lljkk Sun 13-Jan-13 08:44:40

i think the research shows that the best childhood predictor of future life success is mother's education level, NOT income.

AnAirOfHope Sun 13-Jan-13 10:03:46

The points im making are

1) SAHP are contrubuting posativly to sociaity

2) There should be a tax brake for SAHP and those parents that use childcare

3) The poor could care less about your personal circumstance Xena because we are too busy trying to suvive on £900 or less per month. I would love £50k pa hmm

Demand feeding is where the mother is available all the time to feed the child when the child wants to bf not when the mother choice to bf the child!

AnAirOfHope Sun 13-Jan-13 10:05:28

Demand feeding is not a nanny with a bottle.

olgaga Sun 13-Jan-13 11:15:58

Xenia, you talked about how you "demand fed" your twins while working full time on another thread. I wondered how on earth you managed to work full time with twins strapped to you.

Now I realise you weren't "demand feeding" at all. You had a nanny, who was doing all the caring - and all the bottle feeding.

Another of your mythical "superwoman" achievements exposed as dishonest, misleading twaddle.

WidowWadman Sun 13-Jan-13 11:19:22

AnAir Oh, FFS. I returned to work FT each time when my kids were around 9 months old and kept demand feeding until they were 18 months. You know what the secret was? When I wasn't around, they didn't demand milk, but were perfectly happy with the solids and water on offer while I was away. Neither of my kids ever took a bottle -they didn't like them.

Certainly demand feeding is no reason to need to stay at home until they're five.

Also am not sure how much you're "incearsing yeir learning protential" when all they learn from you is that a mother's place is in the home fulfilling all their children's demands.

WidowWadman Sun 13-Jan-13 11:21:48

olgaga - she still fed herself in the evenings and at nights. Which is pretty demanding in itself, and it's good to see her example that breastfeeding is not a barrier to work and work is not a barrier to breastfeeding.

Viviennemary Sun 13-Jan-13 11:23:40

I do agree that many people seem to forget that benefits are tax free. Thus person on £12,000 per year paying tax. Person on £26,000 benefits per year not paying any tax. How can this make sense.

olgaga Sun 13-Jan-13 11:29:50

One thing this recession is doing very well is giving a very good kick up the bottom of some women and indeed plenty of them are now flocking back to full time work

Something else you've got completely wrong.

Unemployment down, but not for women

A survey conducted by Working Mums found that 24% of mothers have had to give up work as a result of the changes. The government itself has recognized that ?the reduction in support through the childcare element of tax credits?will particularly affect women in lone parent households? as 60% of the recipients of the childcare element of the WTC are single parents.

And how about this? Working families most hit by Autumn Statement, says think tank

Do you seriously think anyone in this kind of position gives a damn about your poor single mum on £50,000 a year?

takeaway2 Sun 13-Jan-13 11:44:09

The point some people are making is.. That those people on supposedly higher incomes (40-50k) aren't better off! At least whilst they are paying for childcare whilst working their socks off.

Xenia Sun 13-Jan-13 11:44:47

olga - this not really a breastfeeding thread but with the tiwns I worked for myself, mostly was at home. I was in the home office, the nanny was across the hall with the babies. When they needed a feed I went in to feed them one on each side (they were gorgeous, I love breastfeeding) and it was just I did not do the holding when they cried during the working day. That was much easier than 10 years before expressing at work with the first few who in those days the nanny gave my milk to. It is technically demand feeding whether they drink direct fro yor breast, are fed your milk on demand by a carer or your husband or are demand fed powdered milk actually.

The important point of young women to know is that many of us have exclusive fed our children breastmilk and even back in 84 when my first child came I could buy a very good book on how to work full time and breastfeed so anyone conning you into staying home and shooting your career to pieces on breastfeeding terms if you would rather work needs to be given very short shrift and shown how well many of us combine in all kinds of different ways breastfeeding and work. IF people want to breastfeed. We have the worst breastfeeding recording in Europe whether stay at home mothers or working mothers sadly in the UK. We are absolutely dreadful at it and huge numbers of women at home stop it in a week or two so it is not a hugely material issue in relation to whether women work or not.

If those without work know that the £50k mother on h er own as the same money as they do presumably they have sympathy for her if they find their own money rather short? Surely they would. If this thread has helped those who don't work and are supported in effect by the full time working single mother on £50k I expect they feel jolly glad she works so hard for the same money they get without working as otherwise they might starve.

I certainly though have never said jobs are easy to find at the moment. They aren't and we need to do something to stimulate industry, make the UK THE place to be to found your company etc.

AnnoyedAtWork Sun 13-Jan-13 12:07:47

There has to be some incentive for people to work their arses off for 26k net income (ie about 50k gross) rather than 26k tax free benefits. If you are on 50k and have to pay 10k childcare out of your net income no wonder you are pissed off. I am.

AnnoyedAtWork Sun 13-Jan-13 12:08:18

That is why childcare should be fully deductible from gross income

AnAirOfHope Sun 13-Jan-13 12:12:44

If both myself and my husband worked we would earn £30k pa before tax combined. We have two children so childcare would cost £17k full time for two per year leaving us with £13k per year to live on.

So dh works full time for £15k pa and i stay at home raising our children and earn nothing.

Dh is disabled and cant look after child but i have a BA(hons) so more qulified and more likly to get a better job but no as im a women and work in the same industry and job as my husband!

There needs to be affordable childcare to encourage women to work.

Also i feel its ok to have five year breake as im still only just 30 and have 40 years to build a successful work life.

olgaga Sun 13-Jan-13 13:27:50

If those without work know that the £50k mother on h er own as the same money as they do presumably they have sympathy for her if they find their own money rather short?

No I don't think so. As you yourself keep pointing out, the fact that she has stayed in work means she hasn't suffered loss of earnings or pension and can expect her standard of living to increase. The amount she is paying in childcare will be greatly reduced once her child is at school, so her misfortune in relation to childcare costs is for a few years only. Then of course she is also investing in a property, which is a realisable asset.

Her only sacrifice is the same sacrifice we all make when we have children, in that they cost a lot of money to care for - whether you stay at home with them and lose earnings, or you choose to pay someone else to care for them.

She is, and always will be, in a vastly better position than someone on benefits of £26k, much of which she doesn't see as it goes straight to her landlord - and who, like 90% of the working population, will never earn anything like £50,000pa.

LexyMa Sun 13-Jan-13 14:40:04

Ok, I'll give you a new straw man here and fess up to not really feeling the pinch at the moment. Together we earn just over 100k gross, live in a two bed ex council terrace, run one car for my commute and DH takes the train. I don't think we are much worse off with one child than we were without.

Yes, we paid nearly £1k a month from 6m to 3y and since then we are paying more like 600/m. I worked out how much tax was saved from this earlier in the thread. Come Sept I am likely to be on ML again as DS starts school, but when I go back to work we will either juggle our working hours (possibly both going 80% of full time) to be there at the start / end of the school day or pay for childminder and breakfast club for him and FT care for DC2. But the expenditure we have so far foregone by being parents (i.e. the drinking money, extravagances, holidays) more than outweighs the nappies.

I doubt DS makes an appreciable increase to our heating, washing, food bills. Breastfed exclusively until I went to work, then weaned on the same food we were eating, plus morning and evening breastmilk. Have never bought a jar of baby food and could probably count on one hand the baby ricecakes I may have grabbed in an emergency. I've been tight enough sometimes to give him the mini jug of milk you get with a pot of tea in a dept store cafe.

We drink less booze (at home and out) go to fewer concerts, restaurants, clubs, etc. We go to restaurants as a family (have done since he could sit up) and he eats tasters from our meals and drinks water. Have only ever used the "children's menu" at pizza express. So rarely have babysitter costs. We think more carefully about the value for money of a holiday and mostly don't bother. We have spent little on activities like softplay because of already having paid (through council tax) for public parks, nature reserves and playgrounds, so we get the use out of those. We buy a lot second hand - toys, clothes, buggies.

We have the same size house as we would without a child. We have sunk 40k into extending it, from 1 to 2 reception, 2 to 3 bedrooms. I've no idea whether this will be reflected when we sell but it will enable us to live here very comfortably with 2 DC as long as we need to. We'll therefore move when job economics says so, not family size.

I think (as my epic post comes shuddering to an end!) that my point is for working parents the only real cost driver in having children is childcare, and it increases more than pro rata for subsequent children. Everything, absolutely everything else that I can think of, has cheaper or free choices available. Take Childcare Costs From Gross Pay, I say, but I can't see this being done other than through linked tax self assessment of both parents (no matter how much under HRT threshold the second earner makes) and therefore lose the principle of independent taxation (which we already have with the CB grab)

AnnoyedAtWork Sun 13-Jan-13 14:40:22

It's simply not true that childcare costs greatly reduce once your child is in school.

Often before and after school clubs do not start early or go late enough for parents to work full time. This is the situation I and many other London parents are in.

So then you have to employ full time nanny or send child to private school that has long enough hours. Therefore you can expect to pay equivalent of full time day nursery place for 11 years.

AnnoyedAtWork Sun 13-Jan-13 14:42:36

11 years of £1k per month if you have one child. What about if you have two? People on middle incomes are being discouraged even prevented from having children if they want to stay in work.

LexyMa Sun 13-Jan-13 15:56:37

quite agree, MLB, hence why one of my options is for both of us to drop hours a bit and work 'staggered shifts' to be able to avoid too much before/after school costs. We would rather forego that income (and not be taxed on it either) and avoid paying VAT-ed (I think, correct me?) prices for a childcarer who is also paying income tax. The government takes three slices there - follow the money.

Xenia Sun 13-Jan-13 16:15:58

LexyMa, yes, it is the labour costs. That wasn't so in the 1800s but none of us want to go back to that level of poverty in which the poor lived. Either one of you gives up work so you lose a whole wage or you pay chidlcare. If people are lucky to be in careers where there will be progression then keeping working often pays off longer term and protects you if one of the two careers goes wrong later. If you would always earn hardly anything and it doesn't cover childcare and you can stay sane not working then it may pay to stay home.

I am not sure it is any worse now than when we had our first children in the 80s when no one got tax credits and there were no childcare vouchers (not that I've ever had either of those anyway). It was really expensive then even without a minimum wage. We had 3 under 4 and both worked full time at which point a day nanny can be cheapest - economies of scale.

The child tax allowance which many nations give those in mid life with children as it is for all of us even if we earn a lot of money our most expensive time is now going from those over £50k - £60k. So that means people need to plan - you know the years you have children will be the most expensive so may need to save.

My grandfather did not marry I think until age 40 so as to be able to pay for a family. (He lived in a boarding house with 26 other young men in 1901 census). My parents were married for 13 years before they had children as my mother taught to support my father whilst at medical school. Today I am sure a lot of mumsnetters don't have as many children as they'd like due to cost or wait to have them until they can afford it. May be nothing has changed.

If you pay childcare to a daily nanny who is your employee then that comes out of taxed income. So roughly you multiply at 1.666% if 40% tax. So Say she is paid a gross wage of £25,000 for 40 hours a week that means 41,665 of gross income if you pay 40% tax or about £20k for each of the parents - never let women be saddled with childcare costs - men need childcare too so they can work. Then you might have to pay her tax and NI on top of the £25k. YOu have to pay employers' NI too at about 12%. Anyway it's expensive. Or my mythical £50k single mother I had her paying £14k a year for one full time nursery place.

takeaway2 Sun 13-Jan-13 16:16:07

LexyMa - that's what we do too. The dh now works from home (self employed, own practice) and therefore can do most drop offs and pick ups. Having said that, to extend our work day, we now use a combi of shared pick up with another family, afterschool club till 6, activity clubs after school like tennis etc so that we both can work the necessary hours. The younger child is in nursery full time.

curryeater Sun 13-Jan-13 18:14:44

LexyMa, you are basically boasting that before you had children you had a medium sized house (rather than a poky flat) into which you can now fit children, and went out to expensive enough things (holidays concerts restaurants) that cutting them out makes a difference. Bully for you, well fucking done. Your income is high, you do not feel the pinch, jolly good. Of course you don't feel the pinch. you have a lot of money.
I sense a self-righteous tone in the catalogue of things you don't pay for - no jars, no babysitters, second hand kit - what the flying fuck do you think everyone else does? I think there is hovering in the back of your mind a single mother (gasp) with a new bugaboo, formula, sachets of baby food and lots of new branded baby clothes. Or something.
And what is the point of saying "oh only the childcare is non-negotiable" in that airy tone - I KNOW, and it is costing us about £18000 a year, and that is out of our net. That might not be much to you, but it is killing us, so what does it matter that we never have a ready meal - for adults or children?

Glittertwins Sun 13-Jan-13 18:43:53

How on earth can you only give a 5 yr old tasters from your own meal if you go out and say that your DS doesn't increase the food bill on your groceries? Do you really know where your money is going? Our two easily eat an adult portion between them and they aren't quite 5. I categorise our spending and on top of school meals at £20 per week, they also have at least another £10 of food attributed to them on a weekly shop. That's getting on for £120 per month which is virtually child benefit in one go, never mind paying for after school care on top.

LexyMa Sun 13-Jan-13 19:08:34

I'm sorry that's how it came across, curryeater. We earn more now than we did before we had DS (which was still healthy, probably 32k each). We had a typical 20-something graduate/working lifestyle, such as we were taught to expect in the late 90s when the aspiration was that 50% of people would go to university and magically become professionals. If I'm stating a list of the blinding obvious you don't have to take it as aimed at you, the thread's in site stuff which I take to mean it provides some examples for MN spokespeople if they're invited to contribute to a consultation.

We both grew up in families where money wasn't exactly flowing and so I guess we know to cut our cloth. I tend to assume (usually wrongly) that everyone drops the luxuries when another call on funds is coming. If our families had lost their jobs in the 80s, there was no safety net whatsoever. So that determines how we approach starting a family.

my point is the same as yours, with less swearing. The only barrier to more employment of parents, male or female, is childcare costs. Everything else is scalable.
Glitter, he is 3. Portion sizes in restaurants are extravagant, that's how we can choose mains and sides for two, and at home our cooking habits changed when we anticipated working long hours - batches in the freezer. I am saying nothing new here compared to the tips in 'credit crunch'. And I am well aware of how lucky we are to be able to repay the country's investment in our schooling/uni by working and earning a decent gross amount. Like everyone else I wouldn't mind keeping more of it, and on this thread that would mean untaxed childcare.

olgaga Sun 13-Jan-13 20:19:32

Xenia: If people are lucky to be in careers where there will be progression then keeping working often pays off longer term and protects you

Exactly. So don't expect sympathy from those out of work, or who work for the minimum wage.

Lexy: The only barrier to more employment of parents, male or female, is childcare costs. Everything else is scalable.

Quite.

Which is exactly why there is no point in struggling to work full time and pay for childcare if your earnings are low and you have a job rather than a career with progression. You end up working for nothing - no mortgage, like your single mum on £50,000, just childcare. There is no point working for nothing.

If you're in that position your earnings are always going to be low, unless you are qualified and decide to have a family before you begin your career - then you can expect to earn and progress.

Or you do like I did, (and Xenia's granddad) and have your career, get yourself financially secure, and then have children - but for women that brings the risk of dodgy fertility - I was lucky to have one at age 41.

All I'm saying is: when the Government is giving a clear message that you shouldn't have children you can't afford, they aren't just talking to benefit claimants. They're talking to all of us!

The changes to child benefit aren't really an issue. The lower paid will keep it. We will all see our personal tax allowance rise slightly. The higher paid who use childcare will replace their lost CB through a small tax advantage. We're all in this together!

Except - those earning the most can look forward to a very healthy tax cut far higher than that enjoyed at any other level of earnings.

Which tells you everything you need to know about this Government, and whose interests it serves.

Take note for 2015.

Glittertwins Mon 14-Jan-13 06:02:24

We've always cooked from scratch and they were weaned on food that we eat. I just think you are being a little naive if you don't think he is adding to the food bill when he will be as the food cooked gradually will not go as far as it used to.

LilyBolero Mon 14-Jan-13 08:58:00

lexyma - wait till your kids are older, that's when they reaaly start to cost loads (not including child care in that, as that is variable);

ds1 at secondary - £600 a year for a bus pass (no other options, just have to stump up the money every month), uniform costing £100+, once you include sports kit, blazer, tie, jumpers, gum shield, shinpads etc etc etc - it just goes on and on, school trips start to be more expensive - they are 'expected' to do a residential trip either Y7 or Y8, costing several hundred pounds. Then any clubs they do out of school tend to be really expensive too.

They might fit into the household regular budget when little, but it doesn't last long!

Xenia Mon 14-Jan-13 09:05:06

Lexy is right that with under 5s the biggest cost is childcare. Someone paying £18k above. I am sure we paid £25k (3 children under 5, both worked full time , nanny in today's money and even then that would be skimping it compared to the more expensive nannies and had we lived in inner London). It is very expensive and nothing like as expensive as the kit for the baby which we bought at church jumble sales and economised on and the baby only drank my milk for 6 months etc.

Teenagers is not really in the debat as say £20k full time childcare is always going to cost a huge lot more than even the more expensive 14 year old wanting new trainers. They are unlikely to cost £20k a year, even with day school fees they will only just cost that. I suppose my two probably do cost £20k a year plus and even more if you include the cost of additional housing./

However the bottom line is childcare is expensive. In some countries with loads of poverty you can have live in servants who cost hardly anything but none of us want that. Most of us probably do not want 60% tax rates which we might need if we gave free childcare for all. Women who doesn't work would not support that given the higher taxes and nor would the retired so it is not likely to go forward as a plan. So there will be some minimal help of £2k a year for the poor and those on middle incomes paying nearer £20k a year for childcare will laugh at its derisory nature and get back to their hard work hoping long term it will pay off.

I think women in low paid jobs though should consider they coudl get promoted. It is not that rare that if you are on the tills at Tesco and are pretty good you might move up the organisation so do n't lose hope. If you keep a job and are good at it and seek new jobs and promotions long term it can pay off.

ceeveebee Mon 14-Jan-13 09:09:18

My twins are only 14 mo but I have had to increase portions by equivalent of another adult in the house eg I cook 3 chicken breasts for the 4 of us. Far more laundry liquid plus related electricity and heating on more often as they're at home with nanny.. Also nappies, wipes, cows milk, bread, pears etc all things I never used to buy So I reckon shopping and utility bills are probably up £200 per month. Drop in the ocean compared to childcare costs and reduction in earnings though - nanny costs £20k per year for 3 day week and I've taken nearly £50k salary reduction to go part time. So we're massively worse off than before DCs.

Xenia Mon 14-Jan-13 09:16:46

Yes, having my children 4/5 (twins) was the most expensive thing I could have done.

The thingi s for women or men who go part time it is not just the loss of income it is that in many cases it is hard then to get the promotion you want. You may stop being on track to earn double what you had been earning so you half your pay to go part time and then you lose the change to earn double what you had been earning not just now but for 30 more years...which is why if anyone has to take those risks let it be men.

curryeater Mon 14-Jan-13 09:18:49

Sorry if I sound bitter.
the other massive expense you can't budge on is housing. It costs a fortune. People who bought at the right time don't get this. People who have to buy now or pay rent are crippled by it.
I never used to give a second's thought to people saying "why do I bother working?" but only now am I beginning to doubt this whole modus operandi. Not seriously, but I can see why people say it. I always thought: better to earn your own money, then you have choices. On benefits you can't change your work situation for more day to day satisfaction (even small amounts of work affect benefits, and a life with no work at all would surely start to pall badly, or so I have found it when unemployed and looking for work); you can't move house easily; you can't have holidays (nothing left over) or plan or save (nothing left over); but actually all those things are pretty much like my life now.
Still I would rather work than not and don't remotely envy those who can't get work, still less those working full time and on benefits to top up low pay.

curryeater Mon 14-Jan-13 09:21:16

And as ceeveebee says, it depends on what you are comparing it to when you say food costs / housing costs don't go up when you have kids. I have never thrown food away, never shopped casually, always used leftovers and emptied the fridge before shopping again, so yes I do notice two hungry little people who don't eat as much as an adult but as ceeveebee says, between them it is about as much as one adult between them for some things; for others, off the scale (eg they both drink cows milk now, in pints it seems, and in porridge, which is something I hardly needed to buy before)

LilyBolero Mon 14-Jan-13 09:24:27

not to mention the sheer amount of milk they seem to get through!!!

ceeveebee Mon 14-Jan-13 09:48:30

I know - we used to buy maybe 2 pints a week. Now it's 16!!

Glittertwins Mon 14-Jan-13 11:38:45

Exactly what I was saying. 2 twins = 1 adult portion!

Xmaspuddingsaga Mon 14-Jan-13 14:29:09

Oh watch out Lexy Mae that is what we thought too. (Similar income) the change of having 2 financially cannot be overstated, and it is all sorts of things you may never have thought of.

Xenia Mon 14-Jan-13 15:10:48

But even so the biggest cost is childcare or losing a wage....not matter how much milk they drink (and I am anti milk so I suggest those spending a lot on milk would be better off giving their children tap water)

LilyBolero Mon 14-Jan-13 15:49:51

xenia - the comments on milk/food etc are directly in response to the post from lexyma stating that children do not represent an extra drain on the household budget. In my response, I excluded childcare from it, simply because it is so variable - some people will have grandparents to hand who will do it for free, others will be paying private nannies, and every variable in between.

fwiw I think childcare should be dealt with separately - ideally to be a taxable expense.

The telegraph has a good solution to the whole child benefit dilemma, which is to scrap it entirely. But, you then look at personal allowances, because the purpose of a personal allowance is to allow a person to earn a basic subsistence amount before tax kicks in. So if an income is supporting 3,4,5,6 people, it makes sense that they should all have a transferable personal allowance as well.

Then for low incomes, include that amount as part of the universal credit.

Xenia Mon 14-Jan-13 16:16:13

They are difficult ethical issues. If we have too many people then we may want to ensure it is so expensive to have them (as in China £10k fine if you have more than one etc) people are put off. If you want them to have 5 per family you will smother them in riches for being a good daughter of Mother Russia.

Childcare costs many in London about £25k to £30k a year out of taxed income so about £50,000 gross income. It might cost for one nursery oplace at the cheaper end £14k of taxed income. Of the mother may give up her £25k a year teaching job. Either way it is by far and away the biggest cost of having children. The extra potatoes they eat is tiny by comparison.

I would certainly not be against abolition of all child benefit (I get none now) and tax credits for that matter (given I get none of them).

Xenia Mon 14-Jan-13 16:17:13

The other argument also is that we may want to incentivise high earning women to have babies as their children tend to become high earnig tax payers and not women on benefits. Therefore perhaps give CB only to women who earn over £50k - that would be fun and arguably would meet the state's objective in terms of whose children are likely to pay the most tax.

Xmaspuddingsaga Mon 14-Jan-13 16:28:22

The unplanned for costs are things like having to take twice as many days off for children's sickness. Having to heat the house /provide food for the nanny. Also when looking after 2 under 3 our nanny needed respite so used some nursery/ creche hours as well.

LilyBolero Mon 14-Jan-13 16:51:37

I think a tax allowance for those on higher incomes, and child benefit to be limited to a certain number of children.

Xenia Fri 18-Jan-13 08:52:58

18 Jan
The Times
Childcare tax breaks scuppered by Lib Dems

Apparently it's because most women earn hardly anything, not even enough to pay tax (terrible that that is so in 2013 rather than women earning even more than men - we have a long way to go to get equality)... and that full time working women who with their husbands pay half each of say a £30k full time child care cost would benefit most from a break of tax relief for that cost. Why should they not? What do we continuously protect those who work not very many hours when the squeezed middle work 10 hour days plus often 2 hours commute to keep the part timers in their benefits?

"

Generous tax breaks to help working parents to pay for childcare have been scuppered by the Liberal Democrats, The Times has learnt.

The news will disappoint higher-paid mothers who lost their child benefit this month. They had been hoping to recoup part of the loss. Reports had suggested that the tax breaks could be worth up to £2,000 a year.

The plans have been abandoned because wealthier families would benefit the most. Mothers earning less than £8,105 do not pay tax and so would not be eligible, while thousands who receive tax credits would be excluded.

At a meeting this week of the “coalition quad” — David Cameron, Nick Clegg, George Osborne and Danny Alexander — the Lib Dems insisted that helping these lower-paid families had to be a priority for any extra cash. Many have already been hit by a cut in child tax credits that increased their childcare bills by 10 per cent a week.

The two sides remain deadlocked over what a new childcare subsidy should look like, so the announcement has been put off. It had been pencilled in for last Monday, but is now unlikely to come until the end of the month.

However, details may soon be announced of sweeping deregulation of nurseries and childminders, a move that ministers hope will lead to lower prices. Under the reforms, childminders could be allowed to look after up to five children instead of the current limit of three, and staff ratios at nurseries would be lowered. There are, however, caveats about the type of experience and training required for those allowed to look after more children.

A source close to the negotiations said that the “red line” for Mr Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, had been that the least-well-off had to come first. He is concerned that benefit changes and the introduction of the universal credit will increase disincentives to work for some low-paid families.

“Plans for tax breaks have been effectively killed off but there is still no agreement on funding,” the source said. “The system is complicated and ministers are trying get the money to the parents who need it most, but it is not proving easy, especially as there is not a lot of new money.”

British families pay some of the highest childcare costs in the world, with on average 27 per cent of income going on nurseries, childminder or nannies. This compares with an EU average of 13 per cent. Despite the expense, quality is variable. Ofsted rates one in four providers as in need of improvement.

The Government spends almost £5 billion a year in subsidies but ministers are struggling to understand what it is all going on.

Stephen Burke, director of the Good Care Guide, opposed the plans for tax breaks, saying that they would only benefit better-off families. But he said that something had to be done to reduce costs or the economy would suffer. “It’s make-or-break time for British families. The cost of childcare is crippling many families and ensures that work doesn’t pay for many parents,” he said. “As other European countries show, the answer is for government to substantially increase subsidies for childcare.”

lljkk Fri 18-Jan-13 11:57:50

(Is it legal to quote all that, doesn't it violate their copyright?)

There is a companion article in the Times, which talks about deregulating the childcare industry which would probably reduce costs for all, too. Difficulty is that it puts more responsibility into hands of parents to judge if a childcare situation is safe. I'm not sure if Nanny-state Britain can handle that.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 18-Jan-13 12:23:15

Thing is, I'm not sure deregulating numbers will bring prices down.

olgaga Fri 18-Jan-13 15:55:08

Deregulating numbers will certainly not bring the cost of childcare down. Prices will stay exactly as they are. The only difference will be that childminders will be able to look after more children and earn a living wage for the hard work they do 10 hours a day (yes, 10 hours a day Xenia! 8-6pm) - and children will be sat in front of CBeebies more often.

When my friend looks after 3 children, which she regularly does - I think it's one 4yo and two under 3 - she barely gets time to carry out the Ofsted requirements as it is. She's constantly changing nappies, potty training, feeding, putting them down to sleep. She never stops all day, in quiet moments she catches up with her Ofsted-required observations.

She also has to take her own young children to and from school, as most CMs do. Outings are a mammoth task with a triple buggy or having to strap them all into the car when the weather is poor.

The simple fact is, most CMs would balk at looking after more than 3 children anyway.

The only people who will benefit from deregulation will be the owners of private nurseries, who will be able to pack more children in and turn more of a profit. Nursery workers will continue to be low paid, usually young and have only basic training and qualifications.

There's simply no such thing as cheap childcare unless your own family is prepared to do it for expenses only.

mam29 Sat 19-Jan-13 13:20:19

Does this mean vouchers will stay for now?

as have another 2years childcare for 2 under 5s to fund.

olgaga Sun 20-Jan-13 00:11:31

I'm afraid the coalition are "squabbling" about it.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 20-Jan-13 09:05:06

Let's send 'em to the naughty step!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now