Parents should get back to work now we’ve stepped in to cover childcare, minister says

PARENTS should get back to work now the government has stepped in to cover childcare, a minister insisted today.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Victoria Atkins hailed new reforms that will see childcare support for less well-off families increased by almost 50%.

Parents should get back to work now we’ve stepped in to cover childcare, minister says
Victoria Atkins

Parents claiming Universal Credit can now get up to £951 a month for one child and £1,630 for two or more kids, up from £646 and £1,108 respectively.

The money is used to cover up to 85 per cent of childcare costs which have spiralled in recent years. 

Visiting a nursery in Westminster, Ms Atkins told Trending In The News savings should free up parents to re-join the workforce or extend their existing working hours.

The minister said: “We really want to help mums and dads into work.

“Not only is it good for the economy, it’s also good for them as individuals and with their families.”

She added: “This is part of our transformational package of childcare support going over the next few years, really making a huge difference to people’s lives.

“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for people on Universal Credit or who are in work or want to get into work to access that childcare to help them go and earn their wages.

“So I hope as many people as possible will take advantage of this scheme so that we can see them in work, earning a good living for themselves.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt increased childcare support in the last Budget to reflect crippling prices.

He also announced a dramatic expansion of free childcare hours, which will eventually extend to nine-month-year olds. 

Discussing the cost of living crisis, Ms Atkins refused to guarantee inflation will halve by the end of the year.

But she said the Treasury will do whatever it can to make sure Rishi Sunak’s flagship pledge is achieved.

The minister hit out at Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves’ for criticising Mr Hunt’s handling of the economy.

She slammed Labour as the “the pro-inflationary party”.

“The reason we’re having to make very tough decisions now is precisely because we want to be fiscally responsible and pay down the debts that we had to accrue during Covid,” Ms Atkins said.

The minister argued Labour’s pledge to borrow £28bn to spend on green projects “is not going to help and will fuel inflation”.

“Inflation is hurting us all, but particularly the poorest in society,” she added. 

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