Government Rethink on Childcare Vouchers

Children’s secretary Ed Balls has said that the Government is ‘going to listen’ to concerns over its plans to scrap tax relief on childcare vouchers. There are now more than 80,000 signatures on a petition urging it to rethink its plans on the Downing Street website.Speaking on Sky News at the weekend, Mr Balls said, ‘We do plan to phase out tax relief, but no-one who gets that relief now will lose it. We are, however, always prepared to listen to any concerns that people have to ensure that we continue to provide support for childcare in the most effective way possible with available resources’.Last week a group of nine former Government ministers wrote to the Prime Minister, protesting about the decision to axe tax relief. In the letter they said he had used out-of-date figures to justify withdrawing the scheme by claiming it mainly benefits higher rate tax payers, and that vouchers support more than 340,000 working parents. The signatories included former children’s minister Beverley Hughes, former health secretary Patricia Hewitt and former Europe minister Caroline Flint.

.It is expected that Mr Brown will announce a revised proposal before Parliament breaks for its Christmas recess on 16 December.If you want to sign the petition go to: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/keepvouchers

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