To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer
(1) what estimate he has made of the number of employers who are offering child care vouchers; and how many employees are covered by the scheme;
(2) what the estimated annual cost was to the Exchequer of child care vouchers in each of the last three years.
Employers and employees are not required to report the provision of tax-free employer supported child care provided to employees since the tax and national insurance contributions exemptions were introduced in April 2005.
HMRC commissioned the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), an independent social research organisation, to monitor the initial impact of the reforms to the tax and NICs exemptions for employer-supported child care, from the employer's perspective. This was published on
The research estimated that during 2005-06 around 9,600 employers were offering childcare vouchers. It also includes information on the number of employees using the tax and NICs exemptions at this time, indications of how this may change in the future, income levels of the beneficiaries and the average size of claims made.