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NURSERY VOUCHERS HIT WRONG TARGET

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The government's nursery voucher scheme will primarily benefit better off families which already use private childc...
The government's nursery voucher scheme will primarily benefit better off families which already use private childcare services, rather than poorer families which tend to use state childcare facilities, according to a study carried out for The Institute for Fiscal Studies.

A conclusion of the study, published today in the August issue of 'Fiscal Studies', is that the voucher scheme channels new funds for nursery education to families which least need subsidy. This is because those using state facilities already receive the services without charge.

The study shows well-off families with a four-year-old will gain on average £345 a year; middle income families will gain £129 a year; and the poorest 20% of families would gain only £14 a year.

The cost of the scheme to the public purse will outweigh any tax benefits of women returning to work as a result of the voucher scheme, the study finds.
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