A new £2m scheme has been launched by the Coalition Government to help boost childcare businesses and help women back into work.
People who want to set up a nursery can apply for grants of up to £500 to help cover things like legal and insurance costs, training, equipment and adaptations to buildings. The scheme is aimed to launch up to 6,000 new childcare businesses across England.
We hope people in Calderdale will take up this offer so that a significant number of new nurseries will spring up here, boosting options for parents.
This funding boost comes on top of other recent good news for parents. Last month it was announced that 524 of the poorest two-year-olds in Calderdale stand to benefit from 15 hours free childcare a week from this September. This was championed by Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government to ensure those toddlers have a good start in life and education.
Commenting, Cllr Ashley Evans said:
“Liberal Democrats want to create a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life. Childcare plays a vital role in achieving those goals. It helps the early development of children and removes barriers for those parents keen to return to work.
“We have seen time and time again the important difference that good quality childcare can make in giving children the best possible start in life.
“This money will help entrepreneurs set up and run new childcare facilities which along with over £1.4 million extra to help fund child care for two year olds will be a boost to Calderdale’s economy and a massive help to families here.”
Today is pay day for millions of people across Britain, which means they will receive their first pay slip since the Income Tax personal allowance was raised from £8,105 to£9,440. When Liberal Democrats came into power in 2010 this was just £6,475.
Raising the tax-free allowance is the Liberal Democrats’ flagship policy and has so far seen Income Tax bills slashed by £600 a year for millions of low and middle income workers compared to what they were paying under Labour. As a result, more than 2m people on low pay have been lifted out of paying Income Tax altogether.
The tax-free allowance will rise again next year to £10,000, fulfilling a commitment from the front page of the Liberal Democrats’ 2010 General Election manifesto and resulting in a total tax cut of £700.
Commenting, Councillor James Baker said:
“If you get paid today, take a moment to compare your pay slip to last month’s. You’ll see that Liberal Democrats have cut your taxes.
In total over 79,000 people living in Calderdale have received a tax cut, this is the biggest programme of tax cuts for working people for a generation. This tax cut means an extra £40 million has been kept in the pockets of residents to be spent in our local economy.
Since May 2010, Calderdale Council has been run by Liberal Democrats and Labour Councillors working together on a jointly agreed programme. Now the Labour group has decided unilaterally to end this arrangement although the Liberal Democrats were committed to seeing through the current two-year programme that was agreed last year.
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Calderdale Council, Cllr Janet Battye (Calder ward) says: “The Labour Group have told us that they want to end the local agreement on running Calderdale Council so that they can campaign against Welfare Benefit cuts. However, they seem to have missed the fact Calderdale Council has no power to stop the programme of Benefit Reform: that is being pursued by the national government and is designed in part to help reduce the debt that the last Labour government left this country with when it lost the election in 2010.
This reform, though, has to be done alongside developing the local economy, supporting businesses and creating jobs, to ensure that those people who go out and work get fairly rewarded for their efforts. There is more to running the council than welfare reform, so it is clear that Labour here care more about national politics rather than working constructively to improve the lives of local people here in Calderdale.”
“We feel that Liberal Democrat Councillors have worked constructively with the Labour group since May 2010 to help build a stronger economy and a fairer society here in Calderdale. We have worked intelligently to make savings that meant that the services that matter to people, such as libraries and Sure Start Children’s Centres, were kept open. We conducted extensive public consultation and listened to what people told us.
This is all in stark contrast to Labour-run Councils across the north that lack the economic competence or interest to make smart changes to services and instead simply blame the government for cuts.”