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The PM speaks about childcare costs

Cost of living crisis: Changes to childcare and MOT rules considered to help budgets

Published19 hours ago


Interestingly this follows from a blog I put out a few weeks ago suggesting that we could offer parents vouchers at Gross wage for childcare and then the TAX and NI comes off their pay once the vouchers have been issued. This will help families rather than the high fees of childcare coming out of the Net salary.

Image by N0 10 caption,

Boris Johnson met his cabinet on Tuesday to discuss ideas to tackle rising living costs

Ministers have pitched ideas to tackle the cost of living, as record inflation pushes up food and energy prices.

Boris Johnson called for proposals from his team - that do not rely on spending taxpayers' money - during Tuesday's cabinet meeting.

The BBC has learned that the PM said he wanted to reduce childcare costs by easing health and safety rules.

And sources said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps suggested relaxing the frequency of MOTs.

Delays at the Passport Office were also raised, with Mr Johnson threatening to privatise the service if it did not start delivering better value for money.

Opposition parties have said the help on offer from the government to tackle rising living costs was insufficient, with Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats calling for an emergency Budget to give more support to households.

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With inflation at a 30-year high and household bills continuing to rise, No 10 says the PM has asked ministers to come up with "innovative ways" to ease living costs.

One of the proposals came from the PM himself, with sources saying he wanted to lower the legal limits on adult supervision for children in England, as part of a drive to reduce living costs.

A source in the meeting said Mr Johnson had joked about knowing about the high cost of childcare - he has fathered at least seven children - before telling ministers the government had to get on with reducing costs.

'Cutting corners'

Current legal requirements in England say there must be at least one member of staff for every three children in groups aged two years and under.

For two-year-olds and over, there must be one member of staff for every four children.

The Liberal Democrat and Conservative coalition government attempted to relax child-to-staff ratios in England as part of a package of reforms in 2013.

But the plans - spearheaded by then-education minister Liz Truss - were abandoned after they were opposed by Nick Clegg, who was deputy prime minister at the time.

Earlier this month, experts warned the government against relaxing nursery staffing rules as ministers reviewed ways to improve the cost, choice and availability of childcare.

Labour's shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said the proposal would "drive down quality whilst making no difference to availability".

And Lib Dem education spokesperson Munira Wilson said Mr Johnson has chosen to "cut corners and endanger our children", instead of addressing this issue "head on".


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