Childcare key to prosperity

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper speaking at the Usdaw Conference at Blackpool's Winter Gardens.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper speaking at the Usdaw Conference at Blackpool's Winter Gardens.
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SHADOW cabinet minister Yvette Cooper called for more to be done to help mums get back to work, when she gave a keynote speech in Blackpool.

Ms Cooper, who is shadow minister for women and equalities, and shadow home secretary, was at the Winter Gardens to address around 1,000 delegates attending the annual conference of shopworkers union Usdaw.

She told The Gazette a review of childcare provision was key to getting women back into work and off benefits, and said the Government’s policies on tax were putting the squeeze on many Fylde families.

Ms Cooper said: “We have people on £1m a year getting a £40,000 tax cut.

“It would take a lot of workers, particularly part-time workers, three or four years to earn that and I think that is deeply unfair.

“We need to see more jobs in Blackpool and we want to see the economy growing, but instead it is stalling.

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“We could have a tax on bankers’ bonuses and put the money into creating jobs for 100,000 young people across the country.

“Young people in Blackpool are struggling to get jobs and we have to help them get on the ladder. One of the things for the future to help families trying to make ends meet is that there needs to be more affordable childcare.”

Ms Cooper also warned that policing cuts would impact on communities.

Here on the Fylde, Cleveleys, South Shore and Lytham police stations are earmarked for closure, while Freckleton has already closed, as part of Lancashire Police’s £42m cost-cutting programme.

Ms Cooper said: “Because of the scale of Government cuts to policing, Lancashire will lose more than 500 officers and this will impact on the front line response.

“That’s a real concern because police officers working in the community to prevent anti-social behaviour have made a real difference.

“The police could make cuts of £1bn and still protect frontline police officers, but instead the Government has cut £2bn and that is too far and too fast.”

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