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to think Labour are wrong to scrap the work childcare voucher scheme?

(122 Posts)
neenz Tue 29-Sep-09 15:53:11

Apparently Gordon Brown is going to announce that Labour will scrap the work childcare voucher scheme ("because it benefits too many rich people") and use the money to provide 10 hours free childcare a week to 2yos from low to middle income families.

I consider myself a socialist and I think free childcare is a great idea but if it means 2hr sessions five days a week (ie the kind of sessions that do not allow the parent to go out and work during that time) then I am a bit annoyed because the childcare voucher scheme is the ONLY benefit I get (plus child benefit of course).

I wouldn't mind as much if they were going to pay for a proper chunk of childcare for each poor 2yo to really help the mum/dad get back to work but these short sessions (the type 3yos get now) are pretty useless unless you don't work! And if you do work and want your child to go you have to pay a CM to pick the child up and sometimes to pay the CM anyway for the hours your child is at the playgroup angry. AIB totally U?

mrsflux Tue 29-Sep-09 15:56:51

YA definately NBU!!!

i could cry thinking about managing our money without them!
DS is 6 months old and at nursery 2 days a week. Free child places for 2 year olds is fine BUT most mums who go back to work do so before their babies are 2! FFS!
if that happens it SO won't be worth my while being back at work!

pleasechange Tue 29-Sep-09 15:57:55

Hi neenz grin. You are definitely not being unreasonable and I totally agree. There's another thread on this where I made exactly your point

[[ rs here]

pleasechange Tue 29-Sep-09 15:58:33

doh, sorry about the link

Morloth Tue 29-Sep-09 15:58:37

Why don't they just come right out and say that they think women shouldn't be working?

Littlefish Tue 29-Sep-09 16:00:35

That's awful! They have made a real difference to our finances for the last 2 years or so.

herbietea Tue 29-Sep-09 16:05:51

Message withdrawn

neenz Tue 29-Sep-09 16:10:38

Oh thanks for the link allnew - I didn't see that in In The News blush

neenz Tue 29-Sep-09 16:15:05

I expect it to be a vote loser as well because it is the middle-income families (the very ones who voted labour last time but now are thinking of voting tory sad) who this will affect most. And Gordon Brown should be appealing to middle-income voters not turning them away.

The thing is if you are two parents earning £30k each you don't qualify for any tax credits but with two kids in childcare you don't go home with much at the end of the month either.

That is not my situation btw, just making the point that these "rich" families are not really that well off.

I really don't want the Tories to win the next election but sometimes you wonder whether Brown does.

nessus Tue 29-Sep-09 16:20:12

As you said Neenz, the childcare hours on offer is so inconsequential anyway in the bigger picture of things that you do wonder who they are trying to placate with these bulls*t offerings.

nicolamary Tue 29-Sep-09 16:20:43

Totally agree with neenz, middle income families struggle enough trying to maintain full time employment and childcare fees. Just another kick in the teeth for families trying to better themselves without drawing down on state benefits. No doubt Sarah and Gordon have nannies paid for via the MP's expenses system!

wheelsonthebus Tue 29-Sep-09 16:24:28

top rate taxpayers still struggle to pay bills. we have a big mortgage, both work fulltime to make ends meet and have been 'saved' by childcare vouchers because childcare in London is prohibitively expensive. Indirectly raising the costs of child care (by cancelling vouchers to top rate taxpayers) will force more mothers to stay at home - exactly what the government doesn't want. This is bonkers.
And no - our children don't go to private school. We can't afford that either.

EldonAve Tue 29-Sep-09 16:30:07

I think scrapping it is fine
You only get it if your employer agrees to it so it's not universal

TheCrackFox Tue 29-Sep-09 16:30:08

Are you absolutely sure that NuLabour hasn't recently changed it's mind about having mothers working? It will nicely massage the unemployment figures (which are going through the roof) by making it too expensive/complicated for women to arrange chilcare and decide to become SAHMs?

Just a thought.

SecretNinjaChipmunk Tue 29-Sep-09 16:31:16

yanbu in the slightest. i feel very angry that they are just so stupid they think scrapping a useful scheme and replacing it with 2 hours a day for only for only a few people will be helpful! if it was 10 hours free a week over 1 or two sessions it would make more sense. how do they also means test it? salaries and cost of living vary so much around the country. why isn't there a party who can actually do things for the people of the country they represent? is it really that difficult?

dingdong3 Tue 29-Sep-09 16:31:36

Thing is, I reckon Childcare costs have increased because these creches factor in this tax relief. I have been out of childcare for a year due to maternity leave and the cost has gone up a 100 per month since I left - and I'm having to pay for twins! Total cost....£1400 per month PLUS afterschool costs for DS1 of £300! Have decided not to go back...sounds great but will still leave us tight as we'll now need two cars and we've found our energy costs are much higher with me at home all day (on mumsnet! LOL!)

neenz Tue 29-Sep-09 16:31:39

Does anyone know exactly what was said in the speech? I am at work (my kids are being looked after by a CM paid for by chidcare vouchers grin) so I haven't checked the details.

wannaBe Tue 29-Sep-09 16:47:18

It's all spin though isn't it. As well as the childcare thing they are going to:

Give free care to the elderly in their homes (to be paid for from where?)
Cancer diagnostic appointment within a week (again, more money will be needed for that, where's it supposed to come from?)
Intervene with "chaotic families", (what constitutes a chaotic family and where is the money coming from for the increased ss resources that would be needed for this?)

Upsidedowncake Tue 29-Sep-09 16:58:13

This is completely nuts. All childcare should attract tax relief if they want to encourage women to go back to work. I pay 1500 a month in London for 8 - 6pm nursery three days a week, and one of mine is in state school from 9 - 3pm. That's only affordable because of the vouchers!

Ed Balls, please look at this!

mumof2222222222222222boys Tue 29-Sep-09 16:58:20

I think it is appalling so YANB at all U. It makes a much needed difference to us. With 2 DSs in full time nursery, the bill is approx £18k per year. The tax relief for a higher rate tax payer works out at approx £1k each - so it is not like we're making loads of money!!

Let's see if it actually happens - 6 or 7 months and it is likely to be All Change.

groundhogs Tue 29-Sep-09 17:23:58

YANBU at Labour potentially scrapping this.

To be honest, if you'd have just written AIBU to think that Labour are (just plain) wrong? you'd have still had my YANBU!

I can't be the only one that at the merest mention of our PM name wants to fly into a rage and take a baseball bat to whatever appliance emitted said name....

Why can't he just do the right thing and fall on his own sword? (preferably literally!) And all the others too.

When the hell is the General Election, FGS?

marenmj Tue 29-Sep-09 17:38:10

YANBU vouchers from both mine and DH's employers and a pre-tax travelcard scheme from mine will make the difference between me taking home ANY pay AT ALL when I go back from mat leave.

Without those things me going back to work is an exercise in futility.

We are both visa holders and therefore not eligible for child tax credit. These vouchers will be the ONLY benefit we are eligible for (because our employers participate).

If they take away the vouchers I will be forced to stay home and the Govt will have lost yet another taxpayer who is happy to be in full time work and pay them my %. Counter-productive I would say.

Surely there has to be a petition on the Downing St site to stop this hair brained scheme? Perhaps if we get all of mumsnet to sign it we could get it through Brown's thick skull?

globex Tue 29-Sep-09 17:41:46

Dear me - this is awful news..
I don't think they understand that people who live in cities (where the jobs are) need two incomes to survive..

curiositykilled Tue 29-Sep-09 17:47:51

Hi neenz

I think particularly when coupled with the new vetting and barring scheme it is going to force a lot of mothers out of work because of a lack of childcare, or affordability issues with good quality childcare.

I'm not sure how these latest pieces of policy sit with the recent labour view that both parents should return to work. Is it possible that these are Brown/Blair difficulties - that Blair wanted mums at work and Brown wants them at home? A U-turn by stealth?

Perhaps it is just that Ed Balls is a spectacularly stupid person, which is also possible. He failed to read the question I asked on the webchat and answered it completely ridiculously thinking it was about asking for money when it was about training and leave.

BoffinMum Tue 29-Sep-09 17:53:41

If they hadn't over-regulated it in the first place it probably wouldn't be so expensive.

And I for one am FED UP paying for other people to have freebies. My children's school started a kind of secret means-testing recently, when some of us were deemed to be well off because we had smart coats on or whatever, and asked to pay the full cost of trips and so on (which were very expensive), whereas the scruffy people were allowed to go for free in case they were hard up. In other words, we were supposed to subsidise them without explicitly being asked about it. It was an outrageously presumptive thing to do. Once non-working family who were onto a really great thing with free trips and free uniform and free after school club and all sorts of other things managed to trot off for a rather nice fortnight in Greece on the back end of it. Now I don't begrudge them their holiday but I do resent the lack of transparency.

If people want things, they should wherever reasonable GET WORK in order to pay for them. Or at least try.

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