The German parliament has adopted a controversial proposal to pay parents who keep their pre-school children at home rather than send them to daycare.
From the beginning of August next year they will be paid 100 euros rising to 150 the following year.
Opposition parties say the measure is a backward
step and that the money would be better spent on providing subsidised public childcare but the government is defending the new law.
“I don’t want parents to have to explain themselves in terms of what is right and what is wrong,” said Dorothee Bär of the Christian Social Union, “the right decision is the one the father and mother agree on.”
But the Social Democrats are one opposition group against the new measure.
“This law will result in fewer women choosing a professional career,” Social Democrat Peter Steinbrueck told MP’s, “also fewer children will have early access to education. That’s the result of this.”
That opinion was clearly supported by many in the house who applauded. Fierce criticism from the Green Party too, who say the new law is against children, women, family and the economy. They are also accusing the government of attempting to drum up support ahead of next year’s election.