Saturday 16 November 2019

Families paying €1,000 per month in childcare get minimal extra support – Dáil told

Labour leader Brendan Howlin Picture: Frank McGrath
Labour leader Brendan Howlin Picture: Frank McGrath
John Downing

John Downing

The Government has failed to deliver its “signature promise” in last October’s Budget to ease the burden of child care costs, Labour leader Brendan Howlin has said.

The former Public Expenditure Minister said the Government had failed to put the necessary computer systems in place to deliver special childcare payments to low income working parents.

Mr Howlin said this had been clear since February – but the Government and Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone had failed to be honest with the public about this situation.

“Now all people will get is €20 per month when they have childcare costs in excess of €1,000 per month in many cases,” the Labour leader told the Dáil. He said tens of thousands of low income parents had been “led up the garden path” with false promises in last year’s Budget.

Replying for the Government, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said up to 70,000 children would benefit from better childcare subsidies from next September. She hoped the computer systems would be in place “early in the new year” to pay extra subsidies to the low-income families.

“We are determined to go from being one of the most expensive child care systems to being one of the best,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

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