Pay grandparents for looking after their grandchildren, MPs told

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

We should pay grandparents to help with childcare amid a nursery space shortage, MPs have been told. A “modest payment” from the Government could be made to those who assist with their grandchildren. Professor Diane Coyle of Cambridge University said it might be an alternative to official efforts to boost childcare availability and encourage parents back to work.

It comes amid warnings the sector cannot meet new demand fuelled by the Budget.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s £5.3billion shake-up included a promise of up to 30 hours a week of free childcare for working parents for all infants over nine months.

Economist Tony Wilson, director at the Institute for Employment Studies, told the Treasury select committee: “There are some quite significant challenges about whether the market can grow quickly enough to meet that demand.

“And whether it will look to offset some of the costs of providing this offer by raising fees outside of core hours.

“We’ve been looking at some of the online vacancy data on this as well to give us some insights on this – it does appear that there are significant struggles at the moment with filling childcare vacancies.”

Prof Coyle said one way of dealing with the staff shortfall would be to pay grandparents.

She told MPs: “One of the issues is the labour supply in the care sector, so perhaps thinking about a modest payment to grandparents instead would be a good alternative. There is the separate issue of there’s not much more money available, so you’d have to pay for it, but it’s well worth thinking about. Care structures are varied.”

It comes as Mr Hunt was accused over the country’s high tax burden during a grilling about his Spring Budget at Commons Treasury questions.

Tory backbencher Philip Davies blamed lockdown but added: “The Chancellor nevertheless finds himself presiding over a high-tax, high-spend, low-growth, quasi-socialist economy. So when can those of us who remain as Conservatives expect to see some tax cuts?”

Mr Hunt said he hoped Mr Davies was reassured by the corporation tax cut worth £9billion, adding: “And if we make it permanent, the capital allowances as I would like to, that will give us the best investment incentives anywhere in the OECD.”

Earlier, PM Rishi Sunak defended the tax cut for those with pension pots worth more than £1million, which will cost £2.75billion over the next five years.

He said the current allowances were pushing doctors into declining extra shifts or into early retirement.

“This is about cutting waiting lists,” he told BBC Breakfast. “We need our best doctors. We need them working.”

The Office for Budget Responsibility says the change could boost the workforce by 15,000.

Source: Read Full Article