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Mallard creates another smokescreen

Hon Bill English National Education Spokesman

12 November 2004

Mallard creates another smokescreen

Trevor Mallard is up to his usual tricks of shooting his mouth off to avoid dealing with the fact that his childcare policy is a mess, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

National Leader Don Brash today launched an attack on Labour's early childhood education policy that subsidises childcare, but only for children enrolled in non-profit centres.

"Trevor Mallard's claims that Dr Brash and I are at odds over what National will do with the policy are rubbish," says Mr English.

"National will ensure taxpayer subsidies for childcare are distributed fairly. Labour, on the other hand, thinks some children are worth more than others.

"This is a Minister that can't even implement stage one of his childcare strategy and have all childcare supervisors registered, let alone a complex bureaucratic proposal like this.

"His own officials have advised him that, as a result of this policy, up to 400 childcare centres will close on January 1 next year, affecting about 45,000 young children.

"This is a major crisis of the Minister's own making. He should deal with it before he wrecks the childcare arrangements of thousands of working families.

"Mr Mallard's petty political outburst shows that he is more interested in point-scoring than the welfare of the thousands of children for whom he is responsible," says Mr English.

ENDS

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