Plaid: Affordable Childcare should be a Government Priority




Affordable childcare empowers women, families and generates a positive tax return

Provision of affordable childcare for pre-school children can reap significant social, educational and financial benefits, and should be on the Welsh Government’s agenda. That was the call of Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood in the wake of International Women’s Day.

At present, there are significant pay penalties for mothers who choose to work, and cuts to child tax credit by the UK government will create a significant disincentive for mothers. On top of this, figures reveal that the cost of childcare has risen by 4.8% since last year while women’s unemployment is rapidly rising.

A report by the IPPR has found that the provision of universal childcare for pre-school age children will pay for itself and says that it should be a strategic priority in achieving a more socially just society.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for Regeneration Leanne Wood


"At present, childcare costs are high, provision is not universally available and the quality of childcare places varies too widely. On top of this, unemployment amongst women is increasing, and the high cost of childcare is a serious disincentive to mothers who want to work. If the Labour Government is serious about social justice, then creating a level playing field for mothers is essential.


"Figures show that there is a net return of more than £20,000 over four years though tax revenue by mothers who return to full-time employment after one year maternity leave. We are calling on the Welsh Government to make representations to the UK government to devolve aspects of income tax. If that happened, Welsh mothers, children and taxpayers would be able to benefit through this sensible proposal.


"Plaid Cymru’s submission to the Silk Commission has called for some income tax powers to be devolved to Wales. The devolution of these powers would give the Welsh Government incentive to implement innovative ideas, and would allow them to bring forward long-term strategic plans to gain dividends for the Welsh taxpayer."