Fianna Fáil Senator, Thomas Byrne is calling on Fine Gael and Labour representatives in Meath East to clarify whether or not they support the proposed changes to the Early Childhood Care / Education (ECCE) Scheme and the National Childcare Investment Scheme that are currently in the national media.
‘Reports are that both these schemes will be abolished in a cost cutting plan being devised by the Department of Public Expenditure to save €76 million’ said Senator Byrne.
‘This makes no social or economic sense. If the ECCE scheme is abolished, which provides a free year’s childcare, it will force many parents to give up their jobs as it is not viable to work and pay full childcare costs’
‘By taking people out of the workforce we reduce the amount of tax being made to the State and also put pressure on the limited Social Welfare fund’
‘Cuts to the National Childcare Investment Programme is detrimental to the idea that all of our children deserve top quality education from pre-school onwards’ added Senator Byrne.
‘Government TD’s in Co. Meath need to think long and hard about the choices they are going to make in the months and years ahead. The progressive nature of the previous four budgets have been recognised and supported. This Government’s first budget was very regressive and hit many vulnerable people. The public expect this government to have the courage to take the difficult decisions and not take the easy choices that hit them directly. Other options are available if they have the will to take tough decisions’ concluded Senator Byrne.