Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Children Robert Troy has dismissed proposals put forward by the Labour Party on childcare. Deputy Troy pointed out that the Labour Party has done little to reform childcare over the last five years, and has overseen an increase in childcare costs since entering Government.

“People are skeptical of any policy proposals put forward by the Labour Party on childcare. They have been in Government for five years now and have done little to tackle exorbitant costs. Now, on the eve of the General Election, the Labour Party has suddenly found its voice again and is telling us everything will be different next time around,” said Deputy Troy.

“The Labour Party is desperately claiming that the expansion of the Early Childcare Care and Education scheme demonstrates their track record on childcare. However the ‘expansion’ of the scheme is not what it seems. The free preschool scheme only covers 3 hours per day for 38 weeks, which means that parents working longer than 15 hours per week have to pay for other childcare arrangements.

“The Government allocated €47m for the expansion of the ECCE scheme, but a full expansion of the scheme would actually cost €180m. Most people saw that announcement for what it was – a token gesture aimed at buying off voters.

“How can we take commitments from the Labour Party on childcare at face value when they have failed to deliver on their promises in Government? Let’s not forget that one of the first things the Labour Party did in Government was to slash the lone-parents allowance despite promises made by Labour leader Joan Burton to protect it. The latest proposals put forward by the Labour Party smack of desperation. They are un-costed and unworkable.
“The Labour Party is trying to hoodwink the Irish people into returning them to Government so that they can renege on their promises yet again. People won’t fall for their empty promises this time around,” concluded Deputy Troy.