Expert urges Sunak to get behind struggling families who fork out expensive nursery costs

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The Centre for Social Justice has called on the Government to take strategic action to help family members with their caring responsibilities.

Cristina Odone, the CSJ’s head of family, argues that families provide care for young children and vulnerable adults at a “fraction of the cost of state-run nurseries or care homes”. 

Pushing for greater support for the nation’s army of carers, she said: “A first step would be to increase the miserly Carer’s Allowance which at £69.70 is about a tenth of the average cost of a local authority-funded care home place for someone over 65 (£679 a week).”

The CSJ also calling for reform of childcare funding.

Ms Odone said: “Government spends nearly £6billion a year on funding for early years and childcare support, including paying childcare providers, to get parents back to work quickly. It could instead allow parents to pay a proportion of their childcare entitlement to themselves (or to a relative) to look after their children.”

A further demand is for tax system to promote “family stability”.

She said: “Family breakdown causes individuals to be over twice as likely to experience homelessness, twice as likely to be in trouble with the police or spend time in prison and almost twice as likely (1.9 times) to experience educational underachievement.”

She warned that UK families face “one of the highest effective marginal tax rates in the world, with some families losing 75p of every additional £1 they earn.”

Ms Odone wants the Government to “evaluate every policy in terms of how it affects families”. 

She said this would be a “great initiative for a great new year”.