Sturgeon Urged To Stand Against Glasgow Childcare Charge Hike
Richard Leonard has urged Nicola Sturgeon to stand with Labour and the families of Glasgow against Glasgow City Council’s decision to hike childcare charges by 57 per cent.
According to a Freedom of Information disclosure to Labour, an estimated 5,000 families in Glasgow will be affected by the decision, leading to huge increases in costs for working class families.
The Scottish Labour leader raised the case of the Spence family, who will see their charges increase by £220 per month in August unless the plans are dropped.
Sarah Spence, who works as an Assistant Practice Manager in the city, told Labour the charges could force her to give up work.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said:
“5,000 families in Glasgow will be hit by the SNP decision to hike up childcare charges in the city.
“That’s 5,000 families already struggling with the cost of living.
“These charges won’t open the door for working families – they will slam the door shut.
“Nicola Sturgeon should listen to what 5,000 families across the city of Glasgow are telling her, stand up for these families and stand against these increases.”
Childcare fees in Glasgow
As part of their first budget in Glasgow the SNP minority administration, supported by the Greens, voted to introduce increased nursery fees.
The increased fees will generate £1,253,000 for the council. Details of the budget can be found here.
The rise means the standard rate will increase from £2.54 to £4, the reduced rate increase from 65p to £1, as well as increases for Kinship carers and university students. The standard rate will go to £5.00 per hour from August 2019.
The money generated from the increases will be used to help plug the funding gap in the council. The was confirmed by a senior officer in response to a constituent enquiry.
In response to a Freedom of Information request the council admitted that 5,000 families will be affected by the decision to increase charges.
The Scottish Government has not held any discussions with nursery providers in Glasgow regarding childcare funding. This came to light in response to PQ S5W-15816.
Johann Lamont has written to every MSP/MP/Councillor in Glasgow urging them to apply pressure on the council leadership to scrap the increases. A separate letter has gone to Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister demanding she intervene with her colleagues to scrap the increase. The letter can be viewed here.
A letter has been sent to Council Leader Susan Aitken requesting an urgent equality impact assessment be carried out with regard to the decision to increase fees. The letter can be viewed here.