Labour MSP says SNP's childcare proposals are an 'absolute shambles'


Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale said the Scottish government's flagship childcare proposals were "scribbled all over the fag packet" and their costs did not add up.

Ms Dugdale said the child care policy was an "absolute shambles".

The SNP said in the White Paper on independence that it wants to see 30 hours of childcare a week for all three and four-year-olds and vulnerable two-year-olds by 2020.

Ministers said that if that could help drive up female participation in the workforce by 100,000 to match Sweden's example, the policy would be substantially self-financing.

Ms Dugdale said that the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice) paper, Early Learning and Childcare, discredited the childcare claims made by the Scottish government in the white paper on independence

She called for the establishment of a Scottish childcare commission with all-party support to keep the issue of affordable quality childcare for all at the top of the political agenda.

Children and Young People Minister Aileen Campbell insisted the government's plans for childcare had been "widely welcomed by experts" and accused Labour of persisting with negativity.

Ms Campbell said the SNP had a "significant and positive track record of achievement on childcare".

When pressed to say how the child care policy would be paid for, Ms Campbell said "independence is the answer".

The minister said there was "robust evidence and analysis" behind the policy.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said the ambition in the white paper was admirable but "we know simply that the sums don't add up".

Green MSP Alison Johnstone called for childcare to stay high on the agenda whatever the result of the referendum and called for various flexible childcare models to be on offer.

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