If ever there was a government guilty of false advertising, it is the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition.
Yesterday the TV news was full of a childcare subsidy scheme that, we are told, is worth up to £2,000 per family.
The only problem: You have to be paying £10,000 or more to get the full amount as only 20 per cent of the care cost is refunded.
The subsidy is available to working parents – not only poor working parents who need the help, but to any couple whose aggregate earnings are anything up to £300,000 per year.
How many of your friends (who are parents) earn that much?
How many of them spend £10,000 a year on childcare? For most of the families I know, that amount would make it their greatest expense – around one-third of their total income.
The impression I get is that most people have been forced to come to their own arrangements with family or friends. This subsidy will not change that. It doesn’t provide enough.
Up to 1.9 million families with children under 12 may well benefit from this – but most of them will get pennies, not thousands of pounds.
The average amount available to each family from the £750 million fund is £400, but with some taking thousands, most will get much less.
The real beneficiaries will be the very rich; the highest earners who do not need any subsidy at all. But the scheme has been dressed up as a gift for everyone.
By May next year, most families will be more than £6,000 per year worse-off.
This is an attempt to distract you from that distressing fact.
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
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