Childcare plans could double women’s contribution to economy

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The SNP has welcomed comments from the Association of Scottish Businesswomen (ASB) that the SNP’s transformational childcare plans would give more women the freedom to start their own business – and would see a major boost to women’s contribution to the economy.

The ASB’s Vice President Alison Henderson today said that a change in childcare provision could see the contribution to the Scottish economy made by businesses owned by women reach £13bn – more than double the current figure of £5bn.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, Ms Henderson said: “At the moment women running their own businesses contribute £5 billion to the Scottish economy, but if there were an equal number of businesses run by women and men, then that women’s contribution would be £13 billion. So the effect of childcare provision on helping women get into their own businesses and actually focused there, it could be enormous.”

Today also saw the launch of the Childcare Alliance, an organisation set up to promote “real and significant” change in the childcare system in Scotland – founded with the support of businesses and third sector organisations.

It has previously been pointed out by former Chair of Scottish Enterprise, Professor Sir Donald MacKay, that the Scottish Government’s proposals for childcare could not be carried out under the current devolved system – and that only a Yes vote would give Scotland the powers needed to truly transform childcare.

Commenting, SNP MSP Clare Adamson said:

“This is a welcome intervention confirming the truly transformational impact the SNP’s plans for childcare could have for women in Scotland and the Scottish economy as a whole.

“While the Scottish Government is taking action to improve childcare now, only a Yes vote gives us the powers we need to truly transform childcare. Our plans will benefit around 240,000 children in Scotland, and will also give more parents – particularly women – the freedom to get back into work, significantly growing the Scottish economy.

“As well as supporting more women into work, the plans will also give more women the opportunity to start up and own their own business – and with a Yes vote we can make sure that the tax revenue from the increased economic activity is reinvested in Scotland’s future, rather than flowing to the Treasury in London.”