The Government proposal to ‘improve’ childcare is confused and dangerous. As Labour MP, Lucy Powell outlines in her article (http://labourlist.org/2013/01/the-childcare-crisis-the-governments-plans-are-confused-and-dangerous/ ) the Tories want to allow child minders and nursery staff to look after more young children than at present. How can this be an improvement? Each child will inevitably receive less support with consequent concerns about child safety and less one-to-one with the adult. This inter-action is vital in the early development of a child’s brain.
This news comes at the same time as the release of research by the Labour Party showing that there are 401 fewer Sure Start centres now than in 2010 thanks to closures and mergers. Read more details here (http://labourlist.org/2013/01/sure-start-cuts-and-closures-in-numbers/ ) This ConDem Government needs to go before they do any more damage to the lives of ordinary people.
There is nothing more stomach turning than rich Tory Ministers (including Mark Prisk MP salary = £98,740) cutting the income of some of the poorest members of our society because they think it is fair. The 1% cap in increases in social security payments recently pushed through by the Government will mean a real terms cut in income for millions of poor families – the majority of whom are in work – as the costs of energy, food and council tax continue to rise. Social security payments are needed to give a decent income. The Government itself admits that an extra 200,000 children will be pushed into poverty as a direct result of the 1% cap.
In financial terms; experts calculate that the change will mean a cut of £150 per year to the income of a couple with children. Now £150 may only buy one case of champagne for a Tory Minister, for a poor family it is the difference between getting by and missing meals.
But cutting social security payments in this way is a typical Tory policy – punish poor people for mistakes made by rich bankers and then reward millionaires with tax cuts. It’s ordinary people who suffer. As a result; six food banks already operate in Hertfordshire (Welwyn Garden City, Broxbourne, Letchworth, Watford, Hemel Hempstead and Rickmansworth) with another two in Bishops Stortford and Borehamwood in the process of being opened. What sort of society is this Government creating where people in the UK – the world’s seventh richest country – are so poor that they need to rely on handouts from food banks to stop them from starving? It’s not the Big Society, it’s the Broken Society.