NCT's response to the expansion of the 'tax-free' child-care scheme

Released on: 18 March 2014

The government has announced that working parents will be given up to £2,000 per child under Budget plans to ease the cost of child care.

In response to this and ahead of the budget tomorrow, NCT CEO, Belinda Phipps said:

"We welcome this announcement on childcare, which we know is an enormous cost for many parents. However we are hugely disappointed that the government is still not addressing the appallingly low rate of statutory maternity and paternity pay, which remains £100 a week lower than the full time minimum wage. NCT wants the 2014 budget to end this parent penalty and demonstrate they value parents by raising maternity and paternity pay rise in line with inflation."

Notes to editors:

Research by NCT, based on  IPPR analysis, has found that government plans to limit annual increases to maternity and paternity pay to 1% will mean that by 2015 parents lose out by around £224 throughout the course of their 39 weeks parental leave.

NCT's Parent Penalty Infographic demonstrates that on average, £224 could buy 1,500 nappies, a year’s supply of sleep suits, 21 picture books, one apple every day for two years, or pay heating bills for two months.