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Rebel Tory councillor Peter Mullins

Rebel Tory councillor Peter Mullins was making a blistering attack on the nursery voucher scheme as The TES went to press.

Speaking at a debate organised by the Campaign for State Education in Westminster, the Buckinghamshire county councillor said: "The public don't want vouchers, they want good schools and proper funding for them. Even those better-off people intending to send their children privately are uncomfortable with the Pounds 1,100 tax-free hand-out, worth Pounds 1,834 to the 40 per cent taxpayer."

Edward Lister, council leader at the London borough of Wandsworth, said: "In exercising their choice, through the buying power of their nursery vouchers, parents put pressure on the last of the state monopolies, the local authorities, to ensure that their provision is of the right quality and in the right place."

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