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Labour's ludicrous childcare claims are laughable


The Labour European election campaign seems to be remarkably lacking in any information about Europe. Instead their material repeats the same weary messages that are becoming the hallmark of a party which has for some time been lacking in any ideas.
One message in particular will have parents in RCT even more up in arms than they currently are. It is regarding childcare.
Their latest leaflet claims that only they will tackle the cost of living crisis. It says that Labour will "expand free child care for working parents."
Now there are a couple of problems with this - firstly unless they are proposing to somehow use European finance to do this then what is the relevance?
Secondly benefits and taxation, including Child Tax Credits, are the responsibility of the Westminster Government who have made positive changes that have benefitted working parents across the UK. However, provision of childcare is the responsibility of the Welsh Labour Government.
Someone really should have checked the devolution handbook.
The Family and Childcare Trust's annual childcare survey 2014 showed that childcare costs in England are falling in real terms for the first time in twelve years, while in Wales the cost of nursery care for under two's has increased by nearly 12%, for over two's by 13% and the cost of after school clubs by 15%.
It also revealed that local authorities reporting adequate childcare provision for under twos has gone down, with just one in five Welsh councils saying they have sufficient places available. Not a single council in Wales reported having adequate provision for children in rural areas.
Whilst in England the Liberal Democrats in the coalition Government are increasing entitlement to childcare and early years education then in Wales Labour are concentrating their efforts on Flying Start areas. Whilst the scheme has its merits then it as yet to prove effective and is targeted only at the most deprived areas.
In Rhondda Cynon Taff thanks to the decision by the Labour Cabinet to cut full time education for three year olds then many more people will be faced with increased child care costs. That is assuming they can find sufficient places in the first place. Some may have to give up work or cut their hours. As if that isn't enough RCT Labour Council also put up the charges in Council run Day Nurseries.
So the Labour claims on childcare will no doubt be met with the ridicule they deserve in RCT where experience has certainly shown Labour cannot be trusted to run a bath.

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