Childcare in England would be “completely transformed” if Labor wins the power to offer comprehensive support from the end of parental leave through all the primary school years, Bridget Phillipson said on Thursday.
In an interview with The Standard, the shadow education secretary pledged to “completely reimagine the childcare system” to deliver landmark reforms that benefit millions of families.
Ahead of the Labor Party’s annual rally in Liverpool, where he will present the first stage of the reshuffle, he said: “We need a complete transformation in the way we provide childcare across our country…it’s always been piecemeal, we’ve had different bits added to the system.
“We need to create a modern childcare system that provides comprehensive support from the end of parental leave to the end of primary school and recognizes how modern families live their lives today.
“You look at the big changes we’ve seen under Labor governments in the past, whether it’s after 1945, the creation of the welfare state, you’re up to the moment and you recognize what needs to change, but you also look to the future.”
It highlighted research showing the average annual costs of after-school clubs in London have skyrocketed from £1,850 to just over £3,000 in the last decade.
“The availability of childcare in London is a real issue, as is its cost … and it means that it is often women in particular who are forced out of work as a result,” she added, stressing that modern daycare They had be good for kids, parents, and the economy.
In Liverpool, Labor will present itself as “ready to change Britain” and set out a clear choice, arguing that they are on the side of labor and trying to paint the new Truss government as supporting the rich, even being prepared to lift the cap on bankers’ bonuses.
At the heart of Labor’s discourse will be a commitment to transform public services, with a focus on the NHS, fighting crime, education and childcare.
“With every change that we propose, we are clear about how we will fund it,” said Ms Phillipson, insisting that her party is “seriously serious about our responsibilities and how we manage public finances”.
She highlighted Labour’s plan to scrap tax benefits for private schools, a move she said would free up £1.7bn to pay for more teachers, better mental health support and work experience for children – though this example would only help on a limited basis to finance major reforms.
With Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng set to unleash a wave of tax cuts in a mini-budget on Friday, Ms Phillipson says Labor will champion a fairer tax system, signaling the rich would pay more.
“We need a fairer tax system across the board. So, for example, around the non dom, there also needs to be a much fairer system when it comes to commercial rates and the support that we need to see for our main streets,” he said.
“So reform our tax system. It can’t be right that more and more of this burden falls on workers…we should take a broad look at how we ensure those with broader shoulders contribute to the success of our country.”
Mrs Phillipson describes herself as someone who came to Westminster “as a bit of a restless Northerner”.
His rise to one of the most senior posts in Sir Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet offers the party a useful response to Tory jibes that its leadership is dominated by a North London cabal.
And, perhaps more significantly, his constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South gives him a good view of the ‘Red Wall’ – the bloc of North and Midlands seats which abandoned Labor in the last 2019 election and which Sir Keir must take back. Yes it’s him. have a chance to form the next Labor government.
“Over the summer, I’ve spent quite a bit of time visiting and knocking on doors, all over the Northeast, including in seats that we’ll have to get back next time,” he said.
“There is a real sense of disappointment with the government, particularly with those who voted Conservative for the first time in 2019. They will often say they voted for change. And not only has nothing changed, but life has become harder.
“They’re going back to Labour,” he insisted, while stressing: “We can’t be complacent about that.”
Sir Keir is determined to use the coming days in Liverpool to show that he has firmly moved his party away from the Corbyn era and into midfield; for the first time the conference will begin with the interpretation of the national anthem.
But with rail workers, teachers and nurses threatening more strikes this fall and winter, the shadow of the strike and a showdown with Labor union supporters looms over the conference.
“There will be disagreements among members,” Ms Phillipson admitted, arguing: “I think we are very united as a party. We are focused on looking outwards.”
She expects the next general election, scheduled for 2024, to be a “tough fight”.
But, giving a note of confidence, he stressed: “It is not a question of the Government losing the elections. It is our choice to win if we make that convincing, positive case for the change we need in our country.
“Labor is under new leadership and we are ready to change Britain.”