Monday, 27 February 2012

Fakecharity hopes that nobody spots the irony...

From The BBC:

Some parents could be forced out of work and into poverty as the rising cost of childcare outstrips wage rises, says a report.

A survey by the Daycare Trust charity showed that the average cost of nursery care in Britain for children under two rose by nearly 6% last year. Average wages rose by just 0.3%. The government said it was investing an extra £300m to help families with childcare costs and increasing places in free early years education...

Their whole logic is flawed; if a woman can earn £15,000 net and spends £10,000 net on childcare, it's just about worth going to work for incremental extra income of £5,000 against staying at home; if the cost of childcare increases by a couple of thousand, then it might no longer be worthwhile going to work, but there is no cut-off point at which women are 'forced into poverty'; every £1 increase in childcare costs is, at worst, a £1 fall in net income of the parents, it doesn't suddenly tip over from happily working to abject poverty.

But glossing over that, who is The Daycare Trust? By and large, it is a pressure group acting on behalf of its members - being the self-same nursery providers who are 'forcing people into poverty' by hiking their prices. A normal person would say "Well stop hiking your prices then!" but nope:

The Trust wants the government to boost the value of childcare tax credits to the poorest families and to commit itself to free nursery education to all two, three and four-year-olds by 2015.

The BBC use their official fakecharity template for this article; the giveaway is that the article ends with a government minister agreeing that 'something must be done', in other words the whole thing was co-ordinated between them beforehand.

And, just for completeness, who funds The Daycare Trust? Their members, perchance..? Page 10 of their 2011 accounts tell us that they get £1,003,000 a year (over eighty per cent of their total income) for "Policy, research and other projects", "Consultancy" and "Advice and information".

Pages 15 and 16 provide a bit more detail on who their paying customers are: nearly all of that £1,003,000 is from The Department of Education, London Councils, The Big Lottery etc.


Ralph Musgrave said...

I suspect the argument the BBC is trying to invoke is that if a woman decides to give up her £5,000 net income derived from job plus child care, she is £5,000 worse off. The flaw in that argument is thus.

A woman who is torn between the £5,000 money income, and the more relaxed option of not working is choosing between two alternatives that very nearly equal, from her point of view. Thus she is not significantly better or worse off (in her own estimation) by going for one option rather than the other.

In fact after the initial flood of intelligent women into the workplace between about 10 and 30 years ago as a result of womens’ lib, there has been a significant rise in the number of intelligent women deliberately choosing the stay and home and look after the kids.

Mark Wadsworth said...

RM, agreed.

Dick Puddlecote said...

A cast-iron entry at, for sure (which needs updating, btw).

I wonder if the Daycare Trust ever campaign against the costs imposed on child care by paedohysteria and health & safety, mostly in the form of stifling government regulations and the like. I'm sure if it were easier for kindly retired women, and the like, to offer their services, costs would be driven down. Ah but then the DayCare Trust's members wouldn't like that very much, I expect. ;)

Mark Wadsworth said...

DP, the bureaucratic barriers to entry to setting up a nursery are nigh insurmountable (the wife and I once looked into it).

Stands to reason - there's no point getting all the lovely subsidies if new entrants are just going to compete them away, so what these people want/need is barriers to entry AND subsidies.

Lola said...

Dp MW - Eggsaktly. Saved me posting wot yews sed.

Derek said...

This daycare/second job issue is not new. My wife has always worked, not for financial reasons, but because she can't stand the boredom of being at home all the time. As a result we very much ran into this issue during the 1990s when our children were still at the daycare age. However despite the fact that we were probably at breakeven financially when you compared the extra income against the extra costs, the non-financial benefits for her, me and even the children made it worth doing.

Happy wife, happy life.

Lola said...

When you look at this a bit further you will see that the expense of childcare has everything to do with the proto-nationalisation of child care since 1997. Before New Labour really got going everyone constructed informal relationships or set up mother-manned (!) play groups and so forth to provide child care at low cost. For slightly older children you might use a nursery or you may do a deal with a neighbour. New Liebour couldn't have this. It's not statist enough. No jobs for bureaucrats. So it brought in all sorts of stupid rules that killed off 90% of these 'market' solutions. Hence we now have eye-wateringly costly childcare.

It's going to take decades to undo the wreckage of the new liebour years.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, ta.

D, there's more to it than that. Even if working mum with kids at nursery barely breaks even, her future earnings will be enhanced because no career breaks etc.

L, while we're on the topic, one of the good things the Tories did in early 1990s was Nursery Vouchers (still going strong albeit under a new name) which is the same concept as education vouchers generally, and surprise surprise, it works fine.

All the stupid barriers to entry came later on, as well as the shite like Childcare Tax Credits, employer provided vouchers, they'd have done better just to hike the value of the original vouchers by a few quid and have done with it.

Woman on a Raft said...

A million quid for agitating and they don't have to mop or wipe any little poppets.

I am sooo in the wrong game.

Lola said...

MW - We've tried like hell to make the employer vouchers work for one of our part time ladies, and it's almost impossible. It's the 'benefit trap' nonsense again.

Mark Wadsworth said...

WOAR, we're all in the wrong game, get yourself a fakecharity and you are set up for life.

L, for example. You need to be world champion at half a dozen different sets of rules to be able to work out whether it's worth while, and then there's the admin to deal with. That's why there are specialist companies who'll do it for you... I now refer you back to my comment to WOAR.