There has been little real investment in childcare. Public spending lags behind other OECD countries. Successive governments have made piecemeal efforts to tackle astronomical childcare costs, but during the recession, happily slashed payments for children such as Child Benefit. Budget 2016 saw the Government pressured into addressing some of the concerns Sinn Féin and others have outlined over the years – but the approach is again fragmented and undertaken without full consultation with parents and the industry.

This investment programme will help create an additional 23,500 jobs next year, not including jobs that will be created in the local economy as a result of our other budget measures. It will also sustain economic growth into the future.

 · Fairness needs to be at the heart of this budget. That means that no community is left behind and no individual is left behind. 2017 must be a year of ...




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