Saturday 21 January 2017

We need to make childcare tax deductible

With Ireland topping global childcare cost charts, it's time we tackled the problem, writes Carol Hunt

Published 23/03/2014 | 02:30

THEY DON’T COME CHEAP: Childcare is like a second mortgage
THEY DON’T COME CHEAP: Childcare is like a second mortgage

What we need to ask is 'why?' Why is Irish society so determined not to take any responsibility for either the care of children or the hundreds of thousands of people (mainly women) who sacrifice careers in order to stay home and mind them?

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We all rolled our eyes and shook our heads when we heard last week that Ireland (along with the US) is the most expensive country in the world for childcare, according to a report by the OECD. The OECD average (for a family with two children) of 12 per cent of the average wage spent on childcare hits a whopping 40 per cent in Ireland.

But this isn't news. Since the days when women – reluctantly – were accorded the right to continue working after they were married, childcare has, with few and well-documented exceptions, remained their sole responsibility.

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