Fianna Fail pledges to give working families up to €2,000 in tax credits for childcare
Fianna Fail has pledged to give working families tax credits of up to €2,000 to cover childcare costs if voted into Government.
The party will also introduce a second free pre-school year and invest more funding in the current system.
Paid maternity leave will be extended from 26 to 30 weeks and parents will be able to split unpaid leave between them under the party’s new childcare policy.
Fianna Fail children’s spokesman Robert Troy said the range of new measures will cost the State an additional €180m.
Mr Troy said a Childcare Support Credit will be paid out annually across three bands.
The credit will be based on one parent’s earnings and support up to 40pc of childcare costs capped at €5,000.
Those earning between €30,000 to €40,000 will receive €2,000 per year, while parents earning between €40,000 to €50,000 will get €1,500.
And those earning between €50,000 to €60,000 will receive a €1,000 annual payment under the scheme.
Mr Troy claimed the scheme would cover up to 40pc of the cost of childcare for some families, and would be open to parents whose family members care for their children while they work.
Mr Troy conceded that in Dublin the credit would not cover a significant amount of childcare costs where families with two children can pay up to €16,000 a year.
“We brought in a cap of €5,000 as an eligible cost because we didn’t want to be accused of introducing a credit that would increase the cost and give an opportunity to raise the cost of childcare,” he said.