Cerberus today posted his thoughts on the upcoming battle to be fought over childcare. His post was in reply to a Tory blog-campaign to promote their childcare plan, and Cerberus asks all Liberals to join the war.
Given that the Conservatives' child care 'plan' targets new immigrants and rural Tories (both are groups where the women traditionally stay at home after giving birth to look after the kids), I thought I would post my thoughts too on this issue.
First, it's not just recent Asian, Muslim or rural Tories where the women stay at home. I know many progressive, European families where the women too have decided to stay at home, or let the grandparents care for the children while the mother goes back to work. The Tory childcare 'plan' would benefit them.
However, lost in all this talk about $1200, is the fact that Tory child care plan is not really a child care plan. It is a baby bonus. However, it does not provide a single child care space. Mr Harper's suggestion that giving tax incentives to companies who provide child care spaces has been tried out by Mike Harris before - not a single child care space was created in Ontario under that plan.
So the Liberals should ensure the battle they are fighting over child care is that its a battle between the Liberal's plan for creating child care spaces, and a Tory baby bonus. Let the Tories debate the pros and cons of the need for a baby bonus. Liberals should drill it into the debate that while they are offering a child care plan, the Tories are not.
My personal thought on this is that if you choose to have a child - you should pay for it. The state should not be subsidizing child care spaces directly. However, should you, as a mother, choose to get an education, or work and have to pay child care, or get a relative to look after your child, you should get some tax breaks. Similarly, there should be no baby bonuses, rather the mother's maternity leave should be extended to be two years. However, none of the parties' platforms reflect my views. Given that my choice is supporting a Tory baby bonus (of which there is really no need at this time, and which does not help the poor and is peanuts for the rich) or a Liberal childcare plan that will create child care spaces, I would have to support the Liberals.
Tags: Canada Child Care