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Do the proposed tax free childcare plans insult stay at home parents?

(320 Posts)
Jac1978 Tue 19-Mar-13 23:21:41

Working families will receive £1200 a year per child up to a maximum of 20% of their total childcare costs from 2015. Both parents or a single parent must be working and earning less than £150,000 a year to qualify.

Is this a welcome boost to help parents who can't afford childcare or does it insult parents who choose to stay at home and look after their children themselves? Should they be encouraging parents to work or stay at home or should they not help parents at all as it is their decision to have children?

EmmelineGoulden Wed 20-Mar-13 09:42:21

I guess the argument that it's unfair on families with stay at home parents is that they have forgone lost wages in order to look after their children, quite possibly more money than families with both parents working will spend on child care. So why should families with both parents working get money from the government to make their decisions more affordable when families with a stay at home parent don't?

And the (sensible) counter to that would be that it's considered to be in the country's best interests to encourage people to stay in paid employment. And the subsidy is intended to encourage parents to work as much as possible, rather than to ease the financial burden of having children.

But the real answer will be that they think it will buy the most votes for the cost.

SoupDreggon Wed 20-Mar-13 09:42:31

I am sure there are child free tax payers for whom some form of tax relief would be most welcome.

SirChenjin Wed 20-Mar-13 09:42:35

Tax funds all sorts of things - this Govt and the previous one decided that this would support parents to work - work being the crucial word.

TolliverGroat Wed 20-Mar-13 09:44:53

I do think it's unfair on couples where one parent is working and the other is studying, though. Under the CCV system the working parent could claim CCV to offset against childcare, but under the new system (if I read it correctly) any subsidy to the family will be cut off entirely.

SoupDreggon Wed 20-Mar-13 09:49:32

Children are a choice though.

The other thing that I wonder is where all these jobs are. The government say it will help Xmillion mothers back to work but where are these Xmillion jobs?

BTW, I don't feel at all "insulted" as a SAHM. I am just trying to see it from another point of view.

ByTheWay1 Wed 20-Mar-13 09:53:12

It is not unfair - when mine were small I was a SAHM - purely because we wanted to NOT have them in paid for childcare - to be cared for at home -by me... I don't get why people complain about some people getting money....

What will be interesting is how much this will cost to implement - currently anyone working can claim.... I'm guessing another layer of bureaucracy will be needed to ask if their partner is "working" or not. (Though, from my understanding - if you get into the current scheme NOW-your rights to use the current system will be preserved)

It will have a BIG effect on the voluntary community if both partners "working" only includes paid-for employment...

racmun Wed 20-Mar-13 09:58:05

I'm a SAHM through choice. I think the point OP is trying to make is that she feels the role of SAHP is being continually undermined by govt. policy and I agree.

I'm not saying that I want to paid for looking after my son but equally I don't see why DH's tax should fund child care for other people.

You only need to look at the child benefit changes to see that families with one high earner are an easy target. There are NO incentives at all for one income families and that is because the govt. clearly doesn't value IMO having a SAHP.

SirChenjin Wed 20-Mar-13 10:00:40

Having children is a choice - but one that the Govt needs to encourage for the future economy. It may not encourage SAHPs to get back to work, but it sure as hell makes it easier for parents to stay in work and contribute to the economy from a financial POV.

I read that the same ByTheWay - if you are in the current scheme you can continue with that. The new scheme will help people like my friends whose employers currently don't offer CCV iirc.

CockyFox Wed 20-Mar-13 10:04:16

I am a SAHM through choice, it would never occur to me to be insulted by this. I stay at home therefore I don't need childcare; if I chose to go back to work I would be able to get this help. I really don't see the problem.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 20-Mar-13 10:06:50

What on earth would be insulting about it?

mumarchy Wed 20-Mar-13 10:07:00

Completely agree with you Racmun!

solveproblem Wed 20-Mar-13 10:07:50

The government need people to work to stimulate the economy. That's way they need to encourage parents to work.

And we are all in this together so try not to think of your DH's taxes paying for somebody else's childcare. Think of it as your DH's taxes being used to better the economy and creating jobs.

blueshoes Wed 20-Mar-13 10:09:41

It helps reluctant SAHPs who are at home because they cannot afford childcare.

LittleBearPad Wed 20-Mar-13 10:18:38

Hang on a minute Racmum the taxes that your DH pays already subsidise people's childcare for example the 15 hours free childcare etc. You can't pick and choose what your taxes pay - they pay for the army; you may be a pacifist, they pay for hospitals; you may use private healthcare - same re education.

The £1,200 can only be spent on childcare. The government aren't writing a cheque that can be spent on anything. As a SAHP you don't need childcare. You may like your DCs to go to play school etc but you don't need them to.

TwelveLeggedWalk Wed 20-Mar-13 10:19:24

Ahh, now I see why it's phrased as 'insult' Check out DailyFail headlines today. Mumsnet-tastic

sweetkitty Wed 20-Mar-13 10:19:30

I'm a SAHM with 4DC, two at school, two preschoolers. The sheer logistics and cost of childcare means that for now I chose to stay at home.

Yes it was entirely our choice to have 4 DC but I am hoping that those 4 DC grow up, are hard working and contribute a lot to society.

I do feel that this present government is very anti stay at home parents in general, especially with the gross unfairness of the child benefit cuts.

Will this allowance count for breakfast clubs, after school and holiday clubs? Childcare isn't just for the under 5s?

A lot of SAHMs look after elderly relatives, disabled children, do a lot of voluntary work, this is being overlooked as well. It's as if all the government care about is getting being paying tax (unless your mega wealthy and can exploit some loophole of course) and working until you drop.

SirChenjin Wed 20-Mar-13 10:22:41

I think the Daily Fail is missing the point...again.

LittleBearPad Wed 20-Mar-13 10:28:45

Agreed SirChenjin but then they so often do.

ddsmellysocks Wed 20-Mar-13 10:34:20

Governments give mixed messages all the time. In the end they are only looking out for themselves and not what is best for families while claiming that they are wanting to assist the family. Some families choose to have working parents because other options are not an option available to them while other families choose to have a sahp because that is the only option available to them - governments should stop penalising choice, stop exclusions happening, and be fair. Yes to be fair the government does not have a money tree and in the present climate it must be hard to make changes for the good but in the end we are talking about children and aiming to get people to vote for you must go to the back of your decision making process - if only that were possible!

pompompom Wed 20-Mar-13 10:34:36

"Mothers who stay at home to look after their children do not need as much financial help as those who work, according to the Treasury"

Failing to see the issue here. If you stay at home and don't need childcare, why do you need to be able to claim money towards childcare? confused

SpringlingSpaniel Wed 20-Mar-13 10:36:16

I don't understand why it would be insulting either.

People who can afford to choose to stay at home and don't have to work to support their family don't need childcare and therefore don't need help with it.

People who are not working, want to work to support their family but struggle with how much childcare would cost them are helped.

People who are working rather than going on benefits but struggling to make ends meet because of the prohibitive cost of childcare are helped.

I think the ceiling is far too high though - people earning at the top level really don't need help paying for childcare.

SirChenjin Wed 20-Mar-13 10:38:18

It's not about penalising 'choice' - it's about allocating tax incentives to reduce the cost of childcare to parents who work. It means that parents whose employers do not currently provide CCV will be able to claim, which will help more parents, and those in the current system will be able to stay in it - it would appear.

dreamingofsun Wed 20-Mar-13 10:39:00

sweetkitty - but surely they are helping people help themselves by enabling them to go to work and improve their standard of living. SAHMs now get credits towards their pensions - those who work don't get double credits whilst their kids are growing up because we have looked after them and worked.

Racmum - loads of people are contributing towards this tax break though not just the husbands of SAHMs. And you could benefit from it if you wanted. those of us with older or no kids couldn't.

SirChenjin Wed 20-Mar-13 10:39:15

Agree with the earning ceiling height though Spaniel - that needs to come right down.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 20-Mar-13 11:01:19

Sorry OP,

I have looked at this and can't see how it penalises sahp's. I think if they weren't entitled to the free 15 hours pre school it would be wrong, because it is education not childcare. But as they are I don't see a problem.
I paid for my dd to attend nursery for one session a week before pre school to have friends to play with and socialisation. She didn't need childcare so why would I be sending her more often?

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