For Immediate Release
SNP members of the Education Committee this week voted against their own white paper policy on childcare by refusing to back a Scottish Labour amendment which would have brought forward the provision of childcare for around 50 per cent of two year olds into the Children and Young People Bill.
They also refused to back an amendment which would guarantee the poorest 27% of two year olds childcare in law, despite announcing the policy in their partial u-turn last week.
By voting against their own childcare policy, the SNP have ensured that a predicted 500 children in Stirling, and 4000 children across Mid Scotland and Fife will now miss out on childcare provision.
Scottish Labour’s deputy education spokesman, Neil Bibby, who moved the amendments, said:
“Today the SNP voted against putting their own childcare policies in the Children’s Bill. Not only did SNP MSPs vote against their white paper policy of 50% of two year olds getting childcare, they also amazingly voted against putting their own policy announcement of last week in the Bill.
“Despite their partial u-turn, as of this September 40% of two year olds in England will receive childcare but only 15% in Scotland. The SNP will still be lagging behind even the Tory/Lib Dem coalition on childcare the year after that.
“The Scottish Government have the powers and resources to increase childcare now under devolution if they wish – they don’t need to break up the UK.
“66% of parents agree with Labour that Alex Salmond should expand childcare now. Childcare should be extended and entitlements for two year olds added to the Bill.”
Dr Richard Simpson, Scottish Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife said:
“This SNP government have rejected almost every amendment to legislation put forward by the opposition in this Parliamentary term. Often these amendments endeavoured to address the genuine concerns of many stakeholders. But this rejection of their own policies on child care plumbs new depths. Scotland is and will lag behind the rest of the UK in child care due to the SNPs actions. Alex Salmond’s statement that despite an overall majority the SNP would listen and govern as they did as a minority government has turned out to be complete nonsense.”