LibLink: Layla Moran “You can’t silence me now”

Following the dreadful way she was treated by Tory MPs at PMQs on Wednesday, Layla Moran has written for the Independent in some detail about the Tories’ failures on free childcare which led to her question to Theresa May.

She outlined the basic facts:

The news that parents would get 30 hours a week of free childcare for all three and four year olds came as a relief, as it offered the chance for women to return to work, as a structured and cost-friendly option was being put on the table for them.

This was an extension of policies the Liberal Democrats pushed in the Coalition government and is one of the answers to closing the gender pay gap, as well as allowing parents a real choice about how they want to bring up their families.

But – and it is a big but – it turns out that this childcare isn’t free after all. It all seemed like a great idea until the Government realised they were actually going to have to pay for it.

Quite simply, the Government aren’t giving child minders and nurseries enough money to actually deliver these places for three and four year olds, and make a living at the same time.

The consequences are hurting parents with either no provision being offered or:

Stories I have heard include child minders and nurseries having to increase the cost of childcare for under-threes in order to make up the shortfall. Many more have started charging parents for extras like nappies, baby wipes, lunches and early/late pick-ups that had previously been included.

The Government needs to act:

Not addressing the problem will result in many mothers not being able to return to work, or being saddled with huge childcare costs. It’s time the Government stopped penny pinching and started implementing this policy properly.

The Lib Dems and I will be keeping up the fight for a fair deal for parents and for childcare providers. After all, nothing in my view matters more than investment in our children. This one is one worth getting right.

You can read the whole article here.

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  • David Pocock 8th Sep '17 - 1:29pm

    I read about this today. Seems like you got the lib dem treatment 🙁

    This is why we need pr . time both those rotten houses sundered and surrender their hold on parliament.

    It was a good question Layla, keep on fighting!

  • Access to free and affordable childcare provision is a hugely important issue for millions of working families. You couldn’t ask for a better champion on these issues then Layla. I echo her concluding remarks” nothing …matters more than investment in our children. This one is one worth getting right.”

  • nigel hunter 8th Sep '17 - 2:40pm

    The Conservatives are always penny-pinching. Then they realise they have to add to the costs and therefore everything becomes dearer, or they sit on their hands and pass the real costs on for they do not work out the details first ,they go for what will be popular for votes. Both parties. We, the people, suffer later as in the added costs ie nappies.

  • David Pocock 8th Sep ’17 – 1:29pm…..I read about this today. Seems like you got the lib dem treatment 🙁…..This is why we need pr . time both those rotten houses sundered and surrender their hold on parliament…………

    True to form LibDem selective memories…I remember Ed Milliband being jeered, at PMQs, by Clegg, Alexander, etc….
    Such treatment of any MP is unacceptable…Parliament has always been ‘rowdy’ but it has become a ‘bear garden’ in recent years….PMQs are a perfect example of broken politics..Cameron developed ‘non answers’ into an art form and loud jeers, at anyone asking a sensible question, are an integral part in dodging the sensible response…

  • Neil Sandison 8th Sep '17 - 4:18pm

    Well Done Layla .We should keep challenging the tories on policy without substance .
    Like one for one replacement in social housing that has not been delivered .
    Air quality improvements that have put on the back burner until 2040 with no pathway on how we get their in terms of infrastructure to produce the energy to power and charge the all electric cars.
    i dare say we will get a raft of half promises at their conservative party conference .Liberal Democrats should challenge them to provide the proof as you have done on free child care.

  • Yes indeed, my grandson just going onto the 30 hours free kick, but there has been a very sizeable increase in meal costs. There are fears the nursery may close within 6 months unless something concrete is done by the government.

  • Richard Underhill 8th Sep '17 - 10:08pm

    School fees of £17, 604 per year at Thomas London Day School. (Daily Telegraph, page 3, 8/9/2017).

  • While I have some questions over the value of 30 hours of ‘free child-care’, I think that if you are claiming to provide it, then you have to provide it. It’s not fair to those families that plan their lives in expectation that a policy does what it says, are left to jump through hoops to get any benefit. As ever, the slightly better off will be able pay for the extras that let them get the free stuff, but it will be the poorest who have to cut their losses and not bother.

    It’s not at all surprising to see Layla getting abuse, but her questions were fair consider the interests of families who voted for all parties, and the heckling is as much an insult to them as it is to us. They are discovering she’s a force to be reckoned with, and fair play to Layla and/or the LibDem press team for turning the dismissive behaviour of boorish men into an opportunity for Layla to present the problems with the policy, and herself to an audience to aren’t glued to Parliament TV.

  • David Pocock 9th Sep '17 - 1:56pm

    Hey Expats 🙂

    I guess regarding that point there is a difference between roasting a leader and doing it to a back bencher. When those questions are going in it is just political point scoring but after that 5 mins the questions are back benchers generally asking questions for their constituence.

    Generally I like the hoc as it is, in other countries they politely ask questions the leader knows in advance and it is sterile. Also the reason it is as it is is so the pm does not feel like they are above anyone. I just think roasting someone just because of party is poor form.

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