Ministers should tackle ‘rip-off’ holiday prices, argues Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders (Lab).

Prices charged by holiday companies out of term-time continue to unfairly disadvantage parents, he believes.

The campaigning MP raised the issue while speaking in a parliamentary debate following a High Court judgement. This found in favour of a father who refused to pay a £120 fine for taking his daughter on an unauthorised term-time holiday.

Questioning the schools minister, Mr Madders urged the Government to tackle the cause, rather than the symptoms, by clamping down on expensive holiday costs outside of school term-time. He points to a recent study by a travel money provider which is said to have found that families pay up to eight times more than normal for flights during half-term holidays.

Government 'has done nothing'

Mr Madders said: “Clearly we need to do everything we can to reduce the number of days that children are absent from school as there is a well-established link between school attendance and good achievement.

“However, the government has done nothing to tackle the cause of this issue which is the rip-off prices charged during term times.

“Well-paid ministers might be able to afford these prices but to families in Ellesmere Port and Neston holidays outside of term time are simply out of reach. Ministers need to tackle the root cause of the problem which is rip off holiday companies.”