Andrew Smith MP

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The Lib Dem / Tory Childcare Con

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Andrew Smith MP has criticised the Coalition for failing to supporting working parents.

Andrew said: "Last week the Coalition announced a £200 childcare subsidy for parents. Whilst any new money to help families facing soaring childcare costs is welcome; this Coalition con should not fool parents in Oxford. Childcare costs have risen by 30% since 2010 -- five times faster than wages. Despite the struggle this is causing families, the Coalition has no plan to tackle the rising cost of childcare before the next election. Alongside higher prices, parents suffering a cost-of-living crisis are seeing fewer childcare places available and reduced support from this Government. By 2015, the Lib Dems and Tories will have reduced support for children and families by up to £15 billion. This difficult national context is now threatening a number of nurseries in my Oxford, which I'm working hard to protect.

"Labour has a clear offer for all working parents of 3 and 4 year olds and for all primary school age children. On top of the government's scheme Labour would extend free nursery provision from 15 to 25 hours a week for working parents with three and four year olds, and introduce a Primary Childcare Guarantee to help parents manage the logistical nightmare of arranging before and after school care.

"In contrast, just one in five families will receive help through tax free childcare and they would have to spend £10,000 per year per child to get the maximum £2000 figure. Labour is on the side of local families and would put an end to childcare holding back parents."

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