This week I have once again submitted a pre-budget submission to Minister for Finance Brian Cowen. I will continue to put pressure on the government to address the problem of childcare and to put in place a strategy for solving the problem and give parents more choice and a better standard of living.
Below is a summary of some of my main proposals. To read my submission in full click here: chilcare-submission-2006.pdf
A significant increase in Child Benefit;
Increased availability of flexible work practices for parents who choose to work;
Increased availability of part-time work for parents who opt to work from the home and wish to return to the workplace when their children get older;
An end to the anomalous situation of pensions for spouses who opt to work from the home;
Improvements in parental leave: maternity leave, paternity leave, and stay-in touch days for parents who work;
Free one-year pre-school places for all;
Tackle the fundamental problems of commuting times and property prices;
Addressing Ireland’s infrastructural deficit, in particular the chronic traffic paralysis and the deplorable lack of affordable broadband access, would have a significant positive impact on the choices that young parents face.