Mums must be free to decide whether to return to work and not be bullied into by Brussels bureaucrats, said UKIP MEP Louise Bours today.
She was speaking out after a report compiled by the European Council called on the government to do more to get stay-at-home mothers into work.
Ms Bours, herself a mum of two, said: “Feminists fought long and hard for acceptance of new mums going back to work but that must be a matter of choice and not a directive from above.
“Of course many mothers have to go back for financial reasons and are very reluctant to leave their baby, often in the hands of strangers.
“It is right for some mums and wrong for others, and how dare the EU describe the fact that a large number of women who do not work full time as ‘a social challenge’.
“This is all part of of EU targets to get 75% of adults into work by 2020. The EU has an identikit ethos to make all the member states and its residents the same – but we are not the same.
“Any targets affecting the UK should be set by our own government and not interfering Brussels busybodies,” said Ms Bours, North West MEP.
She added: “Childcare costs in the UK are the most expensive in Europe and our childcare provision is also complex and fragmented. A simpler system, more responsive to families’ changing needs must be brought in. The cost of childcare must be reduced and the number of childcare places increased, while giving parents more choice.
“What is the point of having a childcare system that is so expensive it does not pay to work?”