“First of all I have huge respect for mothers – usually mothers – who want to stay at home and look after their children, that’s their lifestyle choice”.
I’ve a long history of ranting at our Chancellor on this blog. And I don’t think this is going to change any time soon. The governments new policy launch on tax-free child care vouchers targets households where both parents work.
I’ll say that again, in order to qualify for the new tax free child care voucher scheme that comes in during 2015, you will need to either be a single parent who is employed or a couple who both have jobs.
You see our government seems to think that it simply lifestyle choice (or laziness) that stops parents working when they have small children. This time last year I did the maths on how much wifey would have to earn to break even on the child care costs for our 3 kids, it worked out she would need to earn £50,000 a year to cover the costs. Bear in mind that jobs like the collections manager at the Society of Antiquarians of London has just been advertised at £25,000*, and you’ll begin to see the problem this causes. Never mind the cost in travel or associated expenses.
There are plenty of parents out there who would love to work but simply can’t afford the punitive cost of child care. And before someone comes across all Daily Mail forum poster on me, a lot of these people would like to work but are frustrated at seeing the aid channeled elsewhere. Suggesting that people who can’t afford to have children shouldn’t have them either isn’t going to work. The Eton toffs need someone to carry out the zero hour contract work after all. Plenty of families can afford to have kids but can’t afford to have both parents work and it’s these people that are being unnecessarily squeezed.
*wifey is an archaeologist, museum curator and collection manager by training. This job actually pays above the national average too, so imagine what will happen for people with the earning potential below this level.