Sunday 23 October 2016

Editorial: Budget must address cost of childcare

A child at a creche
A child at a creche

Have no doubt about it – the cost of childcare is an election issue.

As politicians prepare to hit the doorsteps in the coming months they can expect to hear as much about creche bills as Irish Water ones.

That’s because of the sheer expense of this service.

Childcare for two toddlers can cost up to €25,000 a year in Dublin, it has emerged.

Such bills are among the highest in the EU, with many parents here paying out more than 40pc of their incomes for it.

TV presenter Anna Daly has compared the costs to a ‘second mortgage’ and this is indeed the case for many parents.

The high costs also force many mothers to stay at home to mind their children, putting a brake on their careers.

There have been calls for action in the Budget – by way of paid paternity leave or tax relief on childcare – to ease the burden.

Given the costs involved, the onus is on the Government to do something for parents.


Wind Force is strong

One of the reasons why the makers of the new Star Wars movie were attracted to Skellig Michael was, no doubt, its rugged and windswept location.

A little too windswept, it’s turned out. Filming on the Kerry rock was suspended yesterday after high winds kept the boats servicing the shoot in the harbour.

It’s somewhat ironic that,

after weeks of debate about the rights and wrongs of opening this historic site to a film crew, in the end the Irish weather had the final say – for one day at least.

It’s not the first time conditions on the isolated rock caused a scare. When the production shot scenes there in the summer of 2014 actor Mark Hamill had to be rescued after slipping on a treacherous section of the mountainside.

Is this a case of The Kingdom Strikes Back?

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