Move to pay childminders a wage shot down

MOVES to pay childminders a weekly wage to look after children in the home was a step too far for Charlie Haughey's government which feared it could be seen as a "gross interference" in family life.

A group called the Childminder's Union had pressed for payment of a basic wage of £80 a week in 1982 – the equivalent of the industrial wage at the time.

The union argued the payment was a "small price to pay" for social justice for women and children.

It would also be a recognition of the value of women's work and an honest application of the Equal Pay and Anti-Discrimination in Employment legislation, the union told the government in a submission.

But the demand was quickly shot down by Taoiseach Charles Haughey who said the payment would place an "enormous financial burden" on the State and taxpayers at a time of very serious financial difficulty.