THE BLOG

Parents Just Don't Think Politicians 'Get It'

26/02/2015 17:39 GMT | Updated 28/04/2015 10:59 BST

With less than 10 weeks to go until the general election, politicians need to show they are listening and responding to the concerns of the UK's eight million families.

But polling Gingerbread has released has found that most parents think that politicians have little to no understanding when it comes to finding affordable childcare, earning a living or juggling work with family life.

YouGov asked more than 1,000 British parents whether they thought politicians understood how to help families like theirs access to affordable childcare, balance work and family life or bring in a decent income. Around six in 10 parents thought politicians had little to no understanding of how to help families like theirs with these issues.

Close to nine in 10 of the single parents polled said they were likely to vote and today at Gingerbread we're launching a campaign, General Election 2015: Single Parents Decide, to raise the voices of the UK's two million single parents.

Childcare, work/family balance and income are crucial to many families, but they are particularly big challenges for single parents who have to pay the childcare bills with one income and can't do the 'shift parenting' many couples can rely on.

Despite the run up to the election dominating the news headlines, many of the parents we speak to say they still haven't heard enough from politicians on the issues that matter to them. They tell us they are frustrated that politicians don't seem to be listening or coming up with the real solutions that they need, and need now.

They're looking for candidates from all parties to improve their policies so that families can find a job that fits with their children's needs, pay for childcare and still bring in a decent income.

Today we are urging all political parties to commit to real, meaningful action on the key issues that single parent families have told us they want to see the next government act on:

  • Bring forward increased help with childcare costs, raising support to 85% of costs for all low income families in and out of universal credit, at the same time as tax free childcare is introduced.
  • Draw up a strategy to make work pay and enable single parents to bring in a decent income.
  • Let employees negotiate flexible working from the point of job offer.
  • Scrap child maintenance charges.

It's clear that when it comes to persuading family voters that they've got the answers they're looking for, politicians have got some serious work to do before the election.