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Voucher scheme directors cash in

Directors of Capita - the company responsible for running the doomed nursery voucher scheme - have made more than Pounds 4.5 million in cashed share options, writes Frances Rafferty.

Rod Aldridge, chief executive of the group which is also the largest private company collecting council taxes, confirmed that he had made Pounds 1.05m. Three other directors also made more than Pounds 1m.

The group which has benefited from the privatisation of local authority services, runs computer services and administers pension systems for private and public sector clients.

It was chosen by the Department for Education and Employment to run the voucher system, supplying all parents of four-year-olds with a voucher to be used for nursery education. Opponents of the scheme described it as a massive, bureaucratic paper chase. The Conservative Government said it would extend choice. The scheme is now being scrapped by the new Government.

A spokesman said Capita would be running the existing scheme this term and would be administering the interim arrangements. Local authorities have been invited to organise public and private nurseries from September. Capita will administer provision in the LEAs which do not have plans in place. By September 1998, all LEAs will be expected to run nursery provision.

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