This is an article for the South Wales Evening Post
I spoke to a constituent recently who is finding the cost of childcare to be crippling. Both he and his wife work but despite accessing the Government's voucher scheme they are struggling with the cost.
It is because of people facing these sorts of pressures that Liberal Democrats made it our mission, whilst in government, to improve support for child care. We came up with a scheme to replace the existing childcare vouchers which would be available to more families.
The intention was that from autumn 2015 parents could buy vouchers online to pay for childcare. For every 80p they spend, the government would add 20p up to a limit of £10,000 of childcare costs per child per year but with no limit on how many children can be claimed for, effectively a contribution from the government of £2,000 for each child.
However, it seems that since the General Election new Tory Ministers have started to backtrack on this commitment.
The government now say that Tax-Free Childcare will be launched from early 2017, a slippage of about 16 or 17 months, possibly longer. Because there has been no announcement the reasons for this delay are unknown. If I had not been carrying out some research to help my constituent I would have been none the wiser either.
It appears that under a Tory majority government working parents are to be abandoned to their own devices, without the additional help and assistance with childcare that the Liberal Democrats secured for them.