I would like to make two points about the nursery voucher scheme. First, there are children whose parents can afford private provision attending LEA nursery classes at which there are waiting lists, yet there are children on those lists whose parents cannot afford private provision and who are receiving nothing at all. In other words, some who can pay are getting it free, whereas those who cannot are getting nothing. Is that fair?
Second, those who believe in universal benefits ought to be in favour of vouchers. Every parent of a four-year-old will get a voucher to spend on nursery provision, irrespective of how much, if anything, they have paid into the tax coffers.
BARBARA YEROLEMOU (Conservative education spokesman for Ealing) Heathcroft Ealing London