Letter: Tory subsidy for voucher scheme

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The Independent Online
Sir: Judith Judd reports that the nursery voucher scheme has created 800 new local education authority places and 285 private and voluntary sector ones ("Schools cram in nursery voucher scheme children", 14 November). Ministers state that the places have been created as a direct result of the Government's vouchers policy. This is not true.

The new LEA places come about largely because of the extra pounds 1m capital money given to Norfolk County Council to build new places. No such capital sums will be available when the scheme is applied across the nation in April.

Moreover, the Government told me in a reply to a Parliamentary Question on 4 November that there has actually been a 76 per cent drop in the vouchers spent in the private and voluntary sectors between the summer and the autumn term.

Labour will get rid of the voucher scheme and replace it with an entitlement to a high-quality nursery place.

MARGARET HODGE MP

(Barking, Lab)

House of Commons

London SW1

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