The recent budget certainly contains mixed fortunes for families and businesses. There are definitely some good points for businesses, with promises of reduction of red tape and definite reduction of corporation tax.
For parents, it is less straightforward, with some good news, but also a fair amount of cuts. The Government will uphold the plan to offer 15 years free early education from this September, which we had all been nervous about, as we have been busy recently working out how we would offer this entitlement to all our 3 and 4 year olds. However, family tax credits have been cut, which will hurt many working parents and Child Benefit is frozen for 3 years. Many of the pregnancy-related payments have gone, but at least Employer Childcare Vouchers will continue, after having a last-minute reprieve from the last administration.
We are all expecting it to be another tough year, with the public sector cuts that are inevitable having an impact on communities at large. However, as a business we have tried to look really hard at how we can be more efficient, and to cut our costs wherever possible, so that we can try and peg fees as much as we can. It is likely to be a few months before we all get a clearer picture of where further cuts will fall, but as a sector, we are hoping to carry on providing a great service to all our customers, to allow you to carry on with your busy lives and juggle the demands of family and work. Let’s hope that hard working families really are seen as a priority by this Government, but only time will tell.