New Clause 2 — Childcare
Welfare Reform Bill (Programme) (No. 2)
Kate Green (Stretford and Urmston, Labour)
I will, but the hon. Gentleman will tell me that life is different now and that families share child-caring responsibilities more equally. I am sorry to tell him that although I would love that to be the case, all the research evidence says that it still is not. This is not in any event a gender point, although it would mean more money for women, because women are the main carers of children. Therefore, if we want to ensure that money is spent on children, we need to route it to the main carers, and that primarily means that we need to route it to women in couples.
I am surprised that the Conservative party has been so reluctant to accept that. The last time we had such an attack on the principle of money being paid to mothers for the care of children, it was Conservative ladies who were the best defenders of the interests of mothers and families, and I do not think the picture has changed that much. I know that the hon. Gentleman has an idealistic and ambitious view on the issue, and it would be good to hear it.