Contradictory statements over nursery places

Kid with idea
Published on Friday, 02 November 2012 17:38
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

The Government has made totally contradictory statements over funding for nursery places and early intervention. Stephen Twigg writes to Michael Gove demanding explanation for these inconsistencies

Labour is today writing to the Education Secretary Michael Gove demanding to know why the Government is making completely contradictory statements over the funding for nursery places for two year olds and early intervention budgets.

Stephen Twigg MP, Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, said:

"The information we have uncovered shows that the Government has made completely contradictory statements, and refuses to admit to cuts to the early intervention budget.

"In an official consultation by the Department for Communities and Local Government they claim money for free education for disadvantaged two year olds is being switched from existing early intervention budgets. But in Parliament, on at least two occasions, Ministers have said that the money for nursery places is 'new money' or 'extra investment' and it is not true that money is being switched. These two positions are utterly inconsistent.

"In addition, Ministers have refused to admit to the cuts to the early intervention budgets – which this year amount to at least £348 million, and will be over £1.1bn in the course of this Parliament. They have consistently claimed that budgets are increasing, when they are decreasing.

"Michael Gove told the House on Monday that 'The early intervention grant money will increase over the lifetime of this Parliament'. But the figures Labour have uncovered show the opposite is true.  In 2010, he wrote that 'we will also be protecting overall cash funding for Sure Start' – and yet the Early Intervention Budget which funds Sure Start will fall next year and the year after, and has fallen every year since 2010.

"The Education Secretary needs to explain these inconsistencies urgently."

Source: ©Labour

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