Value stay-at-home moms, say Tories, after major budget extension of free childcare
Mothers should be valued more in society rather than being forced back to work, Conservative MPs warned yesterday.
After Jeremy Hunt announced a major extension of free childcare, MPs called the additional support a ‘socialist’ attempt to solve problems with tax increases.
The Chancellor used Wednesday’s Budget to extend the 30 hour week of paid care.
But Miriam Cates, Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, was “concerned” by the announcement, fearing the Treasury had “misread the issue”.
She said it was “wrong to assume that the cost of childcare is the main factor preventing women from returning to work” as only about “40 per cent of eligible parents” access the existing entitlement.
Miriam Cates, Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, was “concerned” by the announcement, fearing the Treasury had “misread the issue”.
Ms Cates said: ‘Fundamentally, the belief behind offering work-dependent, state-funded childcare to all babies is that mothers are more valuable to society in the workplace than caring for their own children.
“As a conservative, I reject this and as a mother I know it is not true.” Writing in The Daily Telegraph, she said women should be given the option to return to work “based on what is best for each family, not financial need or a misunderstanding that a person’s worth is derives mainly from its contribution to GDP”. .
His comments were echoed by former cabinet minister George Eustice, who said it was a “lamentable state of affairs” that society “does not value motherhood more than it does.”
In the House of Commons yesterday, he cited a poll showing that only 50 per cent of mothers would go back to work if they could afford it.
There have also been calls for Britain to introduce a household-based income tax system, similar to Germany’s, which would allow parents to transfer their allowances tax-free to each other to make it more affordable for one to stay at home for look after the children.