MPs want to hear your views on childcare vouchers

MPs want to hear your views on a petition calling for childcare vouchers to be kept open beyond April 2018.

The petition reads:
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In particular, the Petitions Committee wants to hear your views on:
    Do you agree with the petition? Why/why not?
    How will you be affected by the change to Tax-Free Childcare?
    If you were an MP taking part in the debate, what points would you make to the Government or what questions would you ask?

Your contributions will be summarised and shared with MPs taking part in a debate on this petition.

You can watch the debate from 4.30pm on Monday 15 January 2018. We will post a link as soon as it becomes available.
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I’m the official organisation rep for the House of Commons. I do not work for or represent the government. I am politically impartial and cannot comment on government policy. Find out more in DOT's Mission Statement.

MSE has given permission for me to post letting you know about relevant and useful info. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. If you believe I've broken the Forum Rules please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. This does NOT imply any form of approval of my organisation by MSE
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Comments

  • I completely agree with this petition. I work in the public sector, haven’t had a pay rise in 9 years and am struggled to make ends meet. My salary was once fair and is now pushed to the limit with the costs of living and pay cuts every year in real terms. The one area I thought I could rely on for help was the childcare voucher scheme- yes, I can use the new government scheme but I have worked out that I will lose money overall. So here I am - squeezed yet again. Do you want a sector of society to serve the community? We didn’t go into the public sector for high salaries- but we must be able to live on them!!! Keep the current vouchers open!
  • onlyroz
    onlyroz Posts: 17,661 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    I have been claiming childcare vouchers for 12 years. Initially they were to help towards astronomical nursery fees (over £1000 a month at one point - more than my mortgage) and in recent years have been used to pay for the after school and holiday club.

    Any scheme that helps keep parents of young children in employment (either full or part time) should be welcomed - and the help should be available for all families. Both the low and higher paid have financial struggles when it comes to childcare, and I see far too many women write off their careers because they decide it makes no economic sense to continue one when their entire salary is gobbled up by nursery fees. A little bit of financial help in those crippling early years will do more to help the gender imbalance and pay gap than most other measures.
  • I think parents should be responsible for their own childcare costs and if this scheme means less tax is collected for use by the general population that's not a good thing. The government have tried to help in various ways over the years but schemes such as maternity grants, child benefit, computer schemes, free nursery sessions, child trust funds, free books etc just cause people to feel entitled and become less self sufficient. We have a culture where people moan about their situation but don't try hard enough to do anything about it. Working in local government I have seen countless examples. People trying to access food banks because they used their wages on an expensive sky bill. People asking for free school uniform but they smoke 40 a day.
    Yes childcare is expensive but its just another bill. Should we start making food tax free or have a discount on pet food ? Maybe trainers could be discounted for those on minimum Wage or free haircuts if your name begins with s ?! I've struggled with expensive childcare but it was my choice to have as baby.
  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Posts: 20,062 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Yes childcare is expensive but its just another bill. Should we start making food tax free or have a discount on pet food ? Maybe trainers could be discounted for those on minimum Wage or free haircuts if your name begins with s ?! I've struggled with expensive childcare but it was my choice to have as baby.

    If it wasn't for the childcare vouchers, then I (and many other teachers who have more than one child below school age) would struggle to afford to work.

    I only take home about £40/week after childcare and petrol, so if it wasn't for the childcare vouchers my salary would be less than childcare.

    I think any scheme that allows parents the opportunity to work is good, as in the long run it benefits our economy.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
  • onlyroz
    onlyroz Posts: 17,661 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    I think parents should be responsible for their own childcare costs and if this scheme means less tax is collected for use by the general population that's not a good thing.
    Think it through please. Give parents a small tax break when their kids are young and they will be able to afford childcare and continue up the promotion ladder, paying larger amounts of tax later on.

    Keep childcare cripplingly expensive and one parent has to give up work for a few years, and then when they do return to work will be at the bottom of the hierarchy again with all their former skills out of date.

    Which scenario is better for the economy? Hmmm...
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,138 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    onlyroz wrote: »
    Think it through please. Give parents a small tax break when their kids are young and they will be able to afford childcare and continue up the promotion ladder, paying larger amounts of tax later on.

    Keep childcare cripplingly expensive and one parent has to give up work for a few years, and then when they do return to work will be at the bottom of the hierarchy again with all their former skills out of date.

    Which scenario is better for the economy? Hmmm...
    Yes, I'm an example of this. My net wages were equivalent to the childcare bill 18 years ago and no option to go part-time in order to make it I took home more (by earning under the income tax bracket). I managed a part-time evening job instead, but had to give that up when child 2 came along. By the time she was heading for nursery my skills were out of date (technology had come on too much) so I used childcare vouchers to pay for nursery costs whilst I went back to college. A recession and my husband's ill-health meant my return to work was delayed a bit longer than anticipated, but eventually I went back to f-time work.

    The nursery vouchers that helped, would have had me returning sooner had they been available when I had eldest.

    I'm happy to add my support to any campaign as I know how beneficial they were to me, but my kids are now teens, eldest almost an adult and I'm not familiar with why they are being stopped in favour of a new scheme and why the new scheme isn't available to everyone. Can someone explain please?
  • UKParliament
    UKParliament Posts: 749 Organisation Representative
    First Anniversary First Post Photogenic Combo Breaker
    Thank you for your comments so far.

    If you live in Newcastle and are free at lunchtime on Monday 8th January, please come along to our event where Catherine McKinnell MP wants to hear your views.

    Register to attend by clicking here.
    Official Organisation Representative
    I’m the official organisation rep for the House of Commons. I do not work for or represent the government. I am politically impartial and cannot comment on government policy. Find out more in DOT's Mission Statement.

    MSE has given permission for me to post letting you know about relevant and useful info. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. If you believe I've broken the Forum Rules please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. This does NOT imply any form of approval of my organisation by MSE
  • sweetilemon
    sweetilemon Posts: 2,243 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Childcare vouchers are highly important to encourage parents to stay in work. If childcare outweighs salary more parents are more likely to leave employment. It would be a backwards step for these to be removed. I may or may not use them in the future but would like the option for the year between my maternity and free nursery placement at 2yrs old (scotland). I won't be working for nothing, if that's the case, I'd rather not work.
  • AndyBSG
    AndyBSG Posts: 986 Forumite
    edited 5 January 2018 at 10:21AM
    My wife and I claim the Childcare vouchers and I agree that helping families where both parents work with childcare costs can only be of benefit to the economy.

    However, I don't think the government should keep the scheme open.

    The simple fact is that running two schemes is inefficient and costs money so allowing the older one to gradually die out just makes sense and saves on administration and legislation costs... Cutting needless red tape is something governments are normally very poor at so I find it hard to be hypocritical in this regard

    Whether the new scheme should be tinkered with a bit more though to ensure people on the old scheme want to move over to it is a separate matter.

    I still haven't sat down and worked out if I would be better or worse under the new scheme so think the government should really be offering more assistance in that regard.
  • UKParliament
    UKParliament Posts: 749 Organisation Representative
    First Anniversary First Post Photogenic Combo Breaker
    You can watch MPs debate this petition live on Parliament TV from 4.30pm by clicking here. If you're catching up later, you can scroll back to watch from start or read the transcript on Hansard online.
    Official Organisation Representative
    I’m the official organisation rep for the House of Commons. I do not work for or represent the government. I am politically impartial and cannot comment on government policy. Find out more in DOT's Mission Statement.

    MSE has given permission for me to post letting you know about relevant and useful info. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. If you believe I've broken the Forum Rules please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. This does NOT imply any form of approval of my organisation by MSE
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