LETTER: Childcare costs are crippling families

As a mother myself and as a Labour Party Pendle councillor, I know parents in Pendle are facing increased pressure when bringing up their children.

Childcare places in children’s centres up and down the country are being lost despite David Cameron’s pre-election promise to parents that he backed SuresStart. Government cuts to the childcare element of the working tax credit mean families are up to £1,500 a year worse off.

These cuts mean we have the makings of a childcare crisis that is causing working mums to question whether or not they are better off leaving their jobs altogether.

The Tory-led Government’s priorities are clear by the fact they are giving their millionaire friends a tax cut from April with no guarantee they will invest their extra cash in the UK. The UK economy is flat lining because of their policies and the longer this failure continues, the longer families and businesses will pay the price.

I know from talking to local parents that the cost of childcare is a serious concern, and for some it can provide a real barrier when making the choice of whether or not to do more hours at work.

Tackling this growing childcare crisis is a priority for Labour, which is why the party has set up a Childcare Commission to come up with new ideas to help support families who want to stay in work.

For further information and to submit your ideas and experiences to the Labour Party Policy Review, visit www.labour.org.uk/childcarecommission or write to Labour Childcare Commission c/o Pendle Labour Party, 33 Carr Road, Nelson BB9 7JS.

SHEENA DUNN

Labour Candidate, Pendle East Division, LCC 2013