What’s going on:
At Wednesday’s Budget, UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt vowed to help alleviate the burden of childcare costs. Speaking to the BBC, Hunt declared that such costs were obstructing certain parents from taking up jobs and that the government could make a “big difference” to lower them.
He said that further support would be provided as part of a broader effort to remove barriers that might be hindering entry into the workforce. Hunt also revealed that tight public funds meant that there was limited space for tax cuts.
Why it matters:
The British government’s recent budget plans promise to provide parents on universal credit with upfront childcare support, as well as an increase of several hundred pounds to the current £646-a-month per child cap.
With the UK boasting some of the highest childcare costs in the world, cutting these expenses has become a primary political issue; however, critics contend that the current amount of government support makes it unfeasible for many — even those with middle incomes — to take on additional or more work.
How it’ll impact the future:
If the Labour Party gains power, they have pledged to totally transform the system in England, citing that the existing free childcare hours system is “broken.”