Only the needy

2nd February 2001 at 00:00
The Daily Express

HOW wonderful it would be if we could pay pound;150 a week to every woman who wanted to stay at home with her baby for the first three years of its life. This is what Harriet Harman's Childcare Commission is trying to persuade the Government to do. Of course, it is a commendable idea. It is also an extremely costly one. Without doubt Britain has lagged behind te rest of Europe over maternity provisions. But to make such radical changes possible they must target only those who most need help. And there should be incentives for employers to offer more flexible working patterns to women who choose to go back to work. Only then will women avoid the horrors of juggling finances and a baby - and at a cost the country can afford.

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