'Why can't we hear about the govt being world-beating on childcare?' asks journalist Jonathan Lis

15 March 2023, 08:05

Journalist Jonathan Lis says the way childcare is treated in the UK is a 'national scandal'.

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

Jonathan Lis told Iain Dale that the way childcare is being treated in this country is a "national scandal", comparing it to the far more affordable options in Norway, Finland and Sweden.

Iain Dale had asked him about the view that it shouldn't be the state's responsibility to provide childcare, to which he replied: "I think that's such a myopic view. Every society needs children by every single metric."

"You need children who become adults who then work the economy, who then look after the elderly who then actually become productive members of society, unless you're saying that no one should have children and we should be come a rapidly ageing society and then become extinct, which is the alternative to having children", he continued.

READ MORE: Jeremy Hunt's back-to-work Budget: Chancellor 'to announce 30 hours of free childcare for one and two-year-olds'

He branded the way childcare is treated in this country "a national scandal" which "condemns mostly women to years outside the workforce and contributes to the gender pay gap as well, because women have to take enforced career breaks and also look after the children".

"Let's face it - it's mostly women who do that work in this society that we have", the journalist said.

Social activist Nimko Ali says childcare should be viewed as an important 'investment'

"When the government keeps on talking about being world-leading in all kinds of areas, why can't we ever hear them being world-beating on childcare?" Mr Lis asked.

READ MORE: 'Women give birth to every taxpayer on the planet – we deserve a break,' says Baroness Karren Brady

He then listed examples of how it works in countries "comparable" to the UK in their economies and liberal democracy, including Finland's "universal childcare from the age eight months to seven years", Sweden's monthly allowance means parents pay "only £15 a month for daycare" and in Norway it's a "maximum of £200 a month".

He compared this to "an average of £1150 a month in the UK", adding that there are "so many women who aren't able to go back to work because they can't afford to".