NI Chamber says Autumn Statement must include targeted action on childcare

21st Nov 2023

Speaking ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, NI Chamber said:

“The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement must be directed towards boosting business confidence and catalysing growth through measures which increase investment, drive innovation and help firms transition to a low-carbon economy. In particular, we need to see a focus on driving productivity, with targeted measures to support a thriving workforce.

“In Northern Ireland, lack of access to affordable childcare remains a significant barrier to business growth – nearly three in five mothers here[1] report that difficulties accessing or affording childcare have impacted on their ability to work. So, it is especially important that within the Chancellor’s Statement we see action on childcare that supports the sector and goes far enough to help working parents enter and stay in, the labour market.

“At NI Chamber, we continue to work with our members to design innovative, employer-led mitigations to the childcare challenge. However, we hope to see action from the Chancellor on these issues tomorrow. From increasing the tax-free childcare allowance to building on the existing workplace nursery model, there is much that a Westminster government can do to ensure that Northern Ireland is not left behind.”

Northern Ireland Childcare Survey [1]