Junior childcare minister Sam Gyimah has shamelessly trumpeted the spectacular leftist social engineering engaged in by the party formerly known as the Conservatives. Mr Gyimah obviously does not do irony as evidenced by close reading of this Marxist clap-trap.
Ahead of the Autumn Statement, this piece by him has been produced perhaps as an attempt to remind us all how much ‘help’ the government is giving to make dual earning families a necessity, thus making it near impossible for families to care for their children at home. Many may think this is not something to be proud of, but not Mr Gyimah MP.
Mr Gyimah leaves us in no doubt as to the stated aim of the so-called Conservative Party – namely to force mothers away from their children and back to work whether they like it or not. “Our long term economic plan is delivering unprecedented opportunities for mothers in the workplace, with 14.4 million women in work today – up 60 per cent since the early 1970s. Around two-thirds of mothers in the UK now work, meaning that dual income couples are now the norm.”
This comes in the face of yet another survey that reveals the reason why many mothers return to work after having a child is not because they want to (all things being equal) but because they have to for financial reasons. In a survey by the National Childbirth Trust, 77 per cent of mothers said that household finance was their main concern when deciding to return to work.
Yes, dual income couples are the norm, Mr Gyimah but it might be worth asking yourself if this is what families want or have to do, despite their better judgment? Nor is this in the long-term interests of the children themselves.
The fact that families must have both parents working is not something to boast about, in my book. It just means the economy is not strong enough to sustain a family on a single wage, or even a wage and a half. So, the Childcare Minister and the rest of his ilk should really check their smugness.
As I said Mr Gyimah does not do irony, or indeed shame. At a time of “savage austerity” and mounting debt, he tells us what we at The Conservative Woman have been saying for the last year – that the Government has been pouring billions into the childcare industry.
“This government is spending £5 billion – rising to £6 billion – a year on childcare over the course of this Parliament. And our commitment doesn’t end there: we’ve also put in almost another £1.5 billion to make sure that the families that need it most benefit from the Government’s help to support their children. These numbers are huge. We’re pumping billions into the sector.” Let’s say that again from the Conservative mouth – they are pumping billions into the childcare sector. And they are doing this, dear voter, with your buck – and they have removed child benefit from the middle classes.
Child benefit was, in effect, a tax allowance given to all families, and did not discriminate against single or double income families. The Tories decided to take sides.
What impact are the billions having? Apart from subsidising the industry not much. The 15 hours early years education provision costs the taxpayer £66,000 for every mother who did return to work. In addition it provides no long-term educational benefit for poorer children. This ‘it is best for the children’ lark has been exposed for the big fat lie it is.
So the childcare industry subsidy is not very small state, costs the taxpayer a fortune for every mother who does return to work (who does not much want to in the first place) and helps children not a jot. Ministers like Mr Gyimah just do not get it.