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Helpline U-turn

Ministers this week ordered a U-turn over the decision to close the national helpline on nursery vouchers.

Just a week away from the scheme's start, a recorded message said: "Unfortunately we are unable to answer detailed questions about the nursery voucher scheme during the general election campaign."

The Department for Education and Employment later said a recorded message which replaced the inquiry service had "not proved of practical help" and staff would be re-employed to answer queries.

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