Monday, November 9, 2009

UK: PM in Childcare Showdown

From the Telegraph:
The Prime Minister is withdrawing childcare vouchers because he believes too many people who can afford to pay full costs on their own are using it. About 340,000 families claim childcare vouchers from about 35,000 employers. They save parents up to £2,400 a year.

Mr Brown plans to phase out the system from 2011, instead using the money saved to extend free nursery places to two-year-olds from the poorest families.

But Mr Brown's decision to withdraw the benefit has resulted in a number of senior female backbenchers, including Patricia Hewitt, the former health secretary, and Caroline Flint, the former Europe minister, who argue that many working mothers will no longer be able to afford to work if the vouchers are scrapped.

More than 60,000 people have signed a petition on the Downing Street website criticising Mr Brown's decision while almost 40 Labour MPs have signed a parliamentary motion in protest

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