Charlotte Alldritt, CEO of the Centre for Progressive Policy said:
“All Chancellors want their Budgets to deliver growth: the question is, who benefits from that growth? Today’s announcement on childcare could connect more parents – particularly women – to opportunities to work more hours, boost their incomes and contribute to the economy. CPP estimates that access to suitable childcare could increase women’s earnings by £9.4bn per year and boost GDP by 1%. The OBR assessment identifies the childcare offer as having ‘by far the largest impact on potential output in this Budget.’
“It is critical that sufficient funding is given to early years providers to meet existing entitlements and fund new ones, so that providers have the resources they need to recruit and retain staff. With childcare now rightly seen as core economic policy, government should classify it as infrastructure, which would enable borrowing to invest in these costs.
“Devolution is a vital ingredient for fair growth, but we cannot simply replicate London’s Canary Wharf model, in which value is concentrated among a few, while poverty and inequality remain rampant in the wider local economy. The 12 new investment zones ought to benefit those who stand most to gain from growth, but areas with Mayors and particularly those with new trailblazer deals have the powers and tools to make this task easier.”