13 May 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Responding to the collapse of the childcare scheme for frontline healthcare workers, Labours Seán Sherlock said:
“The collapse of the childcare scheme for healthcare workers shows the shambolic approach of the government and contrasts sharply with the premature comments today from Taoiseach about reopening schools and crèches which have been dismissed by the Chief Medical Officer.
“The Labour Party highlighted the major problems with Garda vetting and the lack of insurance cover as key impediments to the proposed scheme. However, we did put forward solutions but the Government failed to act.
“We had called for a state insurance indemnity for providers specifically to deal with the issue of Covid-19 as insurers had said they would not cover this risk.
“We knew from the Minister’s intervention last week that this could not get the buy in it needed to work. The terms of the scheme left too many questions unanswered.
“This puts the other stages of opening up childcare for families in jeopardy. If there is no certainty now how can there be certainty before the 8th June and then for the 29th June. This is deeply disappointing for working parents and puts working mothers in particular under further strain. It’s a regressive social step and will plunge women backwards.
“The Taoiseach needs to take ownership of this issue now. It requires political leadership at the highest level. The government can’t keep stringing parents and providers along.”