Miliband adds childcare to list of policies funded by bank levy

Marion Dakers
LABOUR leader Ed Miliband yesterday revealed details of his plan to pay for more free childcare for working parents with the proceeds of the banking levy – a funding tactic that the Conservatives said was impractical.

Miliband said he would offer 25 hours of free care for children aged between three and four, up from the current provision of 15 hours. He would also force primary schools to offer 8am to 6pm care.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls pledged in September that he would raise the banking levy by £800m to pay for childcare.

But the Tory party claimed that the opposition has already earmarked spending plans funded by banking taxes 10 times over.

In previous announcements, Labour has said it would use a bank levy or bonus tax to fund a £600m youth jobs programme, £1.2bn for houses, and several other schemes.

The tax on banks’ balance sheets is supposed to raise £2.5bn a year but has repeatedly fallen short. The Treasury is due to raise the levy from 0.13 to 0.142 per cent in January to help meet the target.