Written Answers. - Baby Minding Services.

Noel Ahern


134 Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Finance the official estimates that exist for the number of working parents who pay for baby minding services in official/registered baby minding creches or informal local arrangements; the estimated cost if such official arrangements were allowed for income tax purposes; and the plans, if any, he has in this regard. [16499/96]

Reliable figures are not available to estimate the number of parents who pay for baby minding services in official-registered creches or in informal arrangements. The cost of introducing an income tax allowance for such official arrangements depends on the exact terms of any scheme being considered. For example, it is tentatively estimated that if a tax allowance were introduced for the parents of children under 5 years to cover the cost of the registered child-care up to a maximum of £3,000 per annum, then the cost to the Exchequer would be £60 million. Any proposals in this area will be considered in the context of the 1997 budget and the benefits of any such proposals will be considered in comparison to other possible tax reductions.