Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte has expressed frustration at the lack of childcare supports for middle income families.  Today’s budget saw no increase in the universal subsidy rate, leaving middle-income earners with a paltry €1,040 per year grant.

Deputy Rabbitte explained, “While I recognise that the income limits have been increased for the targeted level of subsidies, which will see more families accessing more substantial levels of payments, the income limits are still very low and exclude many ordinary families who are above the €60,000 net income limit.

“The reality is that a household with two working parents – a nurse and a Garda – will still be ineligible for the targeted level of subsidy.

“A recent survey of parents found that for two-thirds of them childcare bills are higher than their rent or mortgage costs.  We are all too aware of the high rents that are being paid in urban areas, the fact that childcare costs are now outstripping rental expenses is a damning indictment of the government’s commitment to tackle the issue.

“Childcare costs need to be brought under control and more supports are needed to help struggling working families.   Today’s announcement does little to address this issue and will leave thousands of families grappling to pay these exorbitant costs”.

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