Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Election 2015: Make Your Vote Count

Over the past few months, we have been bombarded with so many policies and manifestos that it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of who is promising what. Using the BBC's policy guide and the party manifestos, I have tried to list some of the key parent-related policies for each party. This is supposed to be an impartial, balanced guide (I'm not trying to tell you who to vote for). I'm not commenting on which policies I agree with or what I think is lacking. The number of bullet points for each purely reflects what I was able to find. Although it felt patronising, the Labour Women's Manifesto did make it really easy to find the sorts of policies I was looking for, which is why their list is the longest. 

  • Protect education budget for 0-19 year olds so it rises in line with inflation
  • Ensure all primary schools guarantee access to childcare from 8am to 6pm
  • Cap class sizes at 30 for 5, 6 and 7 year-olds
  • Extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for working parents of three and four year olds, paid for by an increase in the bank levy
  • We will protect the Sure Start budget, and open up an additional 50,000 childcare places by requiring Sure Start children’s centres to offer childcare 
  • Double paid paternity leave to four weeks, and increase the level of paternity pay to over £260 a week
  • Consult on allowing grandparents who want to be more involved in caring for their grandchildren to share in parents’ unpaid parental leave, enabling them to take time off work without fear of losing their job

  • 30 hours free childcare for working parents of 3&4-year-olds
  • Create at least a further 500 free schools in England by 2020, resulting in 270,000 new school places
  • Protect school funding per pupil
  • Ensure a good primary school place for every child, with zero tolerance for failure
  • Support primary school sport with £150 million a year, paid directly to head-teachers, until 2020

Lib Dems:
  • Ring fence the education budget for 2-19 year olds
  • A strategy to end child illiteracy by 2025
  • 15 hrs a week free childcare from the end of paid parental leave
  • A "long-term ambition" to increase free provision to 20 hours a week for all two, three and four-year-olds and for children aged between nine months and two years of working parents
  • Triple statutory paternity leave to six weeks
Obviously I have only looked at small part each party's manifestos here and have ignored everything else, but I hope it is at least a little bit helpful. The BBC's policy guide is really good for comparing every party (not just the main ones) on the issues that matter most to you. Here is where I took the information from: BBC Policy GuideConservative Manifesto; Labour Women's Manifesto 

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