Fine Gael election candidate Verona Murphy has called on Wexford County Council to look into the possibility of reducing commercial rates for childcare providers in a bid to make childcare more affordable for the parents of county Wexford.
Ms Murphy says that the Local Government Rates and Other Matters Act 2019 provides a real opportunity for the council to change the situation on the ground for childcare providers, which could in turn lead to lower costs for parents.
'The Act allows local authorities to target important national and local objectives in Rates Alleviation and Abatement Schemes, including business sectors that are identified in a county's Local Development Plan,' she explained. 'With work ongoing on the next Local Development Plan in Wexford, there is a golden opportunity here to ensure that childcare is identified as one sector which could benefit from reduced rates. This would see a significant saving for childcare providers who I believe would then pass on that saving to parents to remain competitive.'
Ms Murphy says that the high commercial rates faced by creche owners is one of the factors that is driving up business costs which are borne by parents.
'It is imperative that the council examines if there is scope to use the new powers under the Act to lower commercial rates for childcare providers,' she said. 'Affordable childcare is one of my priority policy areas as I believe families in Wexford should have access to high quality childcare. It's a chance to make a real change for hard working families across Wexford.'