Saturday 25 November 2017

One-year parental leave could cost €273m annually, working group warns

The report warns against using tax credits to fund childcare
The report warns against using tax credits to fund childcare

David Kearns

Footing the bill for one-year parental leave could cost the Government almost €275 million annually.

A report, due to be published later today, was put together by a working group on childcare, who estimated the extra cost of providing one-year parental leave at €273 million each year.

Seen by RTE News, the study warned against using tax credits to fund childcare costs, advising that such a scheme could have a “significant downside… that could actually reduce the supply of childcare options” available to most parents.

"A tax relief on a wide scale would likely include a requirement for parents to utilise a registered provider who meet certain minimum regulatory standards. Such a requirement could have the untended consequences of drive certain provers out of the market altogether," it said.

The report also examines a single childcare subvention scheme which could be extended to more working parents.

The study, however, found that such a plan would require a detailed analysis of feasibility over a five-year period.

Part of the report seen by RTE Credit: RTE News
Part of the report seen by RTE Credit: RTE News

No income thresholds were detailed in the report, RTE News said.

There is also a €3 million fund proposed for after-school care.

The report is set to be launched by Minister for Children James Reilly in County Sligo today as the Cabinet meets in Lissadell House to discuss a number of issues, including a draft memo on Budget 2016.

The meeting is being held in Lissadell House this afternoon to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of poet William Butler Yeats.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan is expected to bring a memo to Ministers on the package of tax cuts and spending increases promised by the Government in October.  

Ministers will also discuss a new law to give as many as 50,000 adopted people the right to their birth certificate for the first time.

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