Jamie Reed MP, Member of Parliament for Copeland has responded to news of free childcare to be made available for toddlers. He said:
“I have been inundated with stories of people struggling in the face of the cuts levied on hard working families by the Government and any relief to this should be welcomed. However, this is an empty gesture.
“In Copeland, there are almost 5000 families that are being hit with cuts to working tax credits and the headline figure of 19,000 places in the North West equates to fewer than 900 in Cumbria.
“When working families are being hit by cuts to child tax credit, working tax credit, child benefit and a real term cut to Maternity Pay, this investment in childcare places is shown to be wholly inadequate and will offer no benefit to the vast majority of people.
“It will help some families and this should be welcomed, but it is disingenuous to parade this as a means to mitigate the damage caused by the Government’s toxic cuts.
“Throughout the country, around 400 children’s centres have been closed. This is yet another broken promise from the Government. Thankfully, Labour councillors in Copeland and Cumbria have ensured that none of these have occurred in our local area and any closures will continue to be vehemently opposed.”