Tories plan to double free childcare offer

22 Apr 15

A Conservative government would double the amount of free childcare available for three- and four-year-olds from 15 hours to 30, David Cameron announced.

The prime minister said this would create an extra 600,000 free childcare places for working families every year, saving families up to £5,000 and ensuring that ‘work pays’.

The Conservatives would make up to 9 million extra hours of childcare a week available, allowing parents to work an extra 78 days a year without any childcare costs by 2017.

‘So if you’re a working parent with a one-year-old, you can rest assured that by the time they’re three, they’ll be able to go to nursery for 30 hours a week – completely free,’ Cameron added.

‘And we have legislated for tax-free childcare for anything outside that. If you spend £10,000 on childcare, you will get £2,000 back – for each child.’

He also promised to increase the personal tax allowance to £12,500, so no worker on minimum wage working 30 hours a week will be subject to income tax.

‘And that won’t just be for now; it will be forever – because we’ll write it into the law of the land,’ he said.

‘In other words, we’re making work pay. I’ve said it before: I’m not in this job to be some high-powered accountant. I don’t just want the lines on the graph to go in the right direction… I want lives to go in the right direction. I believe passionately in reducing poverty. And the best route out of poverty is this: work.’

Tristram Hunt, Labour’s shadow education secretary, said the policy was unfunded. ‘Hard-working families will not be fooled by the £600m gap in funding for this policy, as announced last week. It shows that David Cameron has no credible solutions to the problems facing working families.


  • Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith Ugwumadu joined Public Finance International and Public Finance online as a reporter after stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express. Currently, she writes about public finance, public services and economics.

    Follow her on @JudithUgwumadu_

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