We know that many low income families will welcome help with childcare costs. But many would welcome equal help to stay at home to take care of their children. Their families pay tax too – in fact they’re likely to be carrying by far the heaviest burden in taxation across all household income levels – so why is the care they provide ignored in policy?
The govt should explain why taxpaying families who’ve given up one entire salary for a period of time to provide care at home are not included in this scheme. Their costs are ignored. One-wage families with care responsibilities exist across all income brackets and do their best to support themselves on the main earner’s salary – but the government is making it impossible with unfair family taxation (single earners pay far more tax than dual earners on same household income – in fact they pay almost double the tax, so no wonder single-income families are more at risk of poverty).
The Budget announcement of expansion of tax free childcare will help very higher earners enormously – in fact it will apply to joint incomes of up to £300k, so it’s clearly not designed to target help at those who are struggling most.
The talk is about ‘alleviating poverty’ and ‘helping hard working families’ but we know that female participation in the workplace is one of the most important drivers of this new allowance. It has very little to do with children’s developmental needs.