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Help keep Childcare Vouchers open

Posted on 14 December 2017

Earlier this year we set out to support a petition to keep Childcare Vouchers open after the 2018 planned closure date and thanks to your contribution in signing and sharing the petition we have now reached over 110,000 signatures! This means that the issue will now be considered for debate in Parliament on 15th January.

However, our cause doesn’t end here. Every MP has people in their constituency that signed this petition. We need to make sure that they know about it and are willing to speak up for their constituents in Parliament. That means asking them to write to the responsible ministers about this issue and also asking them to stand on the side of working parents, by arguing to keep Childcare Vouchers open during any parliamentary debate.

We have drafted the below letter and we would ask that you send it to your local MP. It will only take you one minute to do so if you follow the three steps below:

1.            Go to http://www.theyworkforyou.com and enter your post code to find your local MP

2.            Click the "send message" button in the top left of the page

3.            Simply paste the below text into the message field and complete your contact details. Then hit send. Don’t forget to fill in the square brackets with your MP’s name and your own name!

4.            We have found that some MPs will reject text that has been pasted into the message field. If this is the case for your MP we would greatly appreciate you writing to your MP in your own words on the matter

You can also continue your support by signing (if you haven't already) and sharing the petition link encouraging your friends and family to sign it: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200585

 

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Letter to send to your MP

 

Dear [MP],

I would like to raise my concerns about the planned closure of the Childcare Vouchers scheme to new entrants in April 2018.

While I understand that Government intends to replace this with Tax-Free Childcare, which has benefits such as access for the self-employed, there are a number of parents that will lose out. Many of these, particularly those on lower wages are likely to receive less financial support with Tax-Free Childcare than they would with Childcare Vouchers.

Families where one parent loses their job through no fault of their own or has to stop working to care for a relative will also receive no support, while they would have continued to receive some support with Childcare Vouchers.

Therefore I would ask that Childcare Vouchers were kept open alongside Tax-Free Childcare so that parents would have a choice of the childcare support that worked best for them and their families.

Childcare Vouchers are offered by the entire public sector, every large organisation and most medium sized companies. Thousands of new small and medium sized companies join every year and as such the vast majority of working parents have access to it.

Many of these parents would be disadvantaged if they had to use Tax-Free Childcare rather than Childcare Vouchers. In fact, according to Department of Education figures, a family with an average amount of expenditure would be eligible for less support with Tax-Free Childcare compared to Childcare Vouchers. Only those that can afford to spend £8,000 a year on childcare would have access to the headline £2,000 of support offered by Tax-Free Childcare.

This differential is further exacerbated when also considering that families will not be able to claim any working tax credits or child tax credits if they claim Tax-Free Childcare.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly made clear that ordinary working families are to be the centre of her domestic agenda and if that is so, we would expect her to recognise the importance of their contribution to the economy, society and Government finances by not removing this crucial support.

I would be grateful if you would raise these issues with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Education Secretary.

You may also have noticed that a petition was created about this issue on the Parliament website. It has now reached over 100,000 signatures and has been scheduled for a debate on 15th January. I ask that you’ll stand on the side of ordinary working families during this debate and call for Childcare Vouchers to be kept open alongside Tax-Free Childcare.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

[Name]