'Banks should fund free childcare'

Big banks should pay for extended free childcare to help ease cost of living pressures on families, Ed Miliband has said.

The Opposition leader said Labour wanted to extend the free childcare for three- and four-year-olds from 15 to 25 hours a week.

It would be the equivalent of about £1,500 a year saving for families, he said.

“Childcare costs… are just going up and up and up and parents are really struggling to cope,” he told ITV’s Daybreak.

Mr Miliband said the extension would be funded by an increased levy on banks.

“The banks are actually making very big profits and I think they can afford a bit more to help families,” he said.

“It’s one of those things that is going to be good for the country, because not every parent is going to want to work… but seven out of 10 mums are saying ‘I want to go back to work but I can’t because of the cost of childcare’.

“They’re going to have to work all week to pay for their childcare costs and that’s just a nonsense.”

Mr Miliband also reasserted Labour claims that more than 500 Sure Start childcare centres had closed, despite the Government claiming the number was only 45.

“We’ve seen hundreds of Sure Start centres no longer there,” he said.

“The wider problem is this – we see fewer childcare centres and we’re seeing the costs rising.”

Mr Miliband said the problem was not only for families with nursery-age children.

He said he wanted to ensure every primary school had before- and after-school care as well.

“Otherwise, parents are in that daily obstacle course of ‘How am I going to make sure I can get to my work and make sure my kids are looked after?’,” he said.

“Frankly, the country is letting parents down if we’re not taking that seriously.”

Mr Miliband also shrugged off the leaking of an email in which his chief economic adviser, Torsten Henricson-Bell, described shadow chancellor Ed Balls as a “nightmare”.

“I think it’s fair to say that people send silly emails in offices and this was one of them,” Mr Miliband said.

“Ed and I are working really well together. I’m really proud to have him as the shadow chancellor alongside me.

“He’s somebody who I think has been right in this criticism of the Government’s economic policy and he’s also leading the way on this cost of living crisis that we’ve been talking about.”

Source Article from http://uk.news.yahoo.com/banks-fund-free-childcare-075430817.html
'Banks should fund free childcare'
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childcare – Yahoo News Search Results

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