Alliance MPs To Push For Improvements To Tax-Free Childcare Scheme

The Alliance Party has made a commitment that their MP's will push for improvements to the UK Government's tax-free childcare scheme.

South Belfast and Mid Down General Election candidate, Kate Nicholl, said the recently announced interim support for childcare must be implemented at pace and there is much more required to support local parents and carers.

"There is no doubt families and households in Northern Ireland are currently suffering from a super-disparity in childcare support relative to those in other regions of the UK,” she said.

"Not only is this unfair, but given childcare is key economic infrastructure, it is detrimental for everyone, whether they avail of childcare services or not. Therefore, we need to prioritise investment in childcare provision.
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"The recent proposals on childcare brought by the Education Minister are a positive first step and a clear indication of Alliance leading change on this matter, given it is a significant shift in DUP policy. But more needs to be done to support parents and the sector. This is a policy win, but I will not be satisfied until parents start to see real savings and providers are supported.

"Alliance's childcare paper, Children First, outlines our proposals in detail - what we need to see is a bespoke affordable childcare scheme for Northern Ireland which will deliver better outcomes for children, reduced costs for parents and enhance the sustainability of childcare provision.

"While delivery of that scheme will sit with the Assembly, Westminster also has a role to play. That's why Alliance MPs will lead change by pushing for improvements to the UK Government's tax-free childcare scheme, such as an clearer information on the scheme, increasing or removing the cap, and increasing the relief from 20 per cent to 35 per cent."

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