Consultation arrangements over Tax Free Childcare in HMRC
Tax Free Childcare (TFC) was announced by the government as part of the 2013 budget. It is scheduled to launch in autumn 2015, and the broad aims of the scheme are:
– A government contribution towards childcare which could be worth up to £2,000 per child each year.
– All working families with children under 12 will be able to access the scheme within the first year of its opening.
– To be eligible, both parents (or a lone parent) must be in paid work up to a maximum earnings threshold and not be in receipt of tax credits, Universal Credit or Employer Supported Childcare
– Tax-Free Childcare will be delivered by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in partnership with National Savings & Investments (NS&I) which is an Executive Agency of HM Treasury. The scheme will be simple, flexible and straightforward for parents and childcare providers; parents’ money will be secure; and they will face no fees or charges.
– Self-employed parents and those working for employers who do not offer the existing Employer-Supported Childcare scheme will be able to access the scheme
– Parents who are currently using the Employer-Supported Childcare scheme will be able to choose to stay in that scheme or move to Tax-Free Childcare. It will be their choice. However, Employer-Supported Childcare will be closed to new entrants once TFC goes live. Employers’ workplace nurseries will not be affected.
PCS have been offered stakeholder involvement in the project and we met recently with the Programme Director to get an early view of the work being undertaken. That meeting was very useful as a starting point but it is clear the project is still very much in development and that a lot of planning work needs to be done before we can begin talks on what TFC will mean in terms of jobs and where the work will be located.
We have agreed the need for further meetings with the Programme Director in the coming months as these plans start to firm up, and we will keep branches updated with progress.
On behalf of AGS Helen Watkins