New Clause 1 — Childcare provision

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 8th April 2014.

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Photo of Catherine McKinnell Catherine McKinnell Shadow Minister (Treasury) 6:00 pm, 8th April 2014

The hon. Lady is well aware that we have a budget deficit that needs to be addressed. This Government promised to balance the books by 2015, but look set to be way off that target. Of course the increase to the 50p rate was part of a balanced deficit reduction programme that Labour would have put in place. Instead, this Government came in and made cuts that slowed growth and resulted in three years of a flatlining economy. The only people who seem to have benefited are the top-rate earners who have been given a tax cut by this Government.

Going back to the subject under debate, the same tax cut came from a Conservative-led Government who, in their 2010 manifesto, promised to make Britain

“the most family-friendly country in Europe.”

They claimed:

“We will help families with all the pressures they face: the lack of time, money worries, the impact of work, concerns about schools and crime, preventing unhealthy influences, poor housing.”

Of course—[Interruption.] Lorely Burt groans from the Liberal Democrat Front Bench. The Liberal Democrats claimed in their party’s 2010 manifesto:

“Liberal Democrats believe every family should get the support it needs to thrive, from help with childcare through to better support for carers and elderly parents. Liberal Democrats will improve life for your family.”

Oh, how they disappointed!