SNP conference speech set to double spending on childcare

This afternoon Nicola Sturgeon is expected to give a speech unveiling plans to double spending on childcare in Scotland.

Under the new childcare plan, parents will be entitled to 1,140 hours of free childcare a year, about 30 hours a week. This will apply to all three and four year olds by 2020. 

This increase will double the current spending on childcare that currently stands at £420 million a year to £840 million a year. 

She is expected to say:

 “Often when I have talked about this policy, I've been asked - sometimes sceptically - if we will really be able to fund it properly.

"Well, today, we put our money where our mouth is. Over the past few months, we have undertaken detailed work to assess the investment needed.

"Right now, we invest around £420m a year in early years education and childcare. I can announce today that by the end of this parliament, that will rise to £840m a year.

"This is a commitment unmatched anywhere else in the UK. And it's the best investment we can make in Scotland's future."

She will also explain how her government has “led the way” during its time in power and how her focus is now on the next 10 years “and beyond”.

According to the first minister, transformational policies are needed to equip Scotland for the future in a rapidly changing world.

Sturgeon is expected to say: "That world around us is being shaped by events that no country on its own can hope to completely control.

"But we face the added uncertainty of a UK now being driven down the most uncertain path in modern times.

"We know that Scotland does better when decisions are taken here in Scotland.

"So as we look ahead we face a choice: We can trail in the wake of the change that is coming - or we can choose to shape our own future.

"Let's resolve this today: Let's not wait for others to decide for us. Let's put Scotland in the driving seat."

The SNP has come under scrutiny as to how it will find this ambitious project. Since Holyrood was given free reign over it's taxation last year, it is likely that this will be utilised, lowering the level at which you qualify for higher taxation. 

Source: BBC/ Scottish Gov. 

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