In response to George Osbourne's Budget announcement on 23 March 2011, The Children's Society's Chief Executive, Bob Reitemeier said:
"Children, particularly those living in poorer homes, have not been immune from the effects of the nation's financial difficulties. Sadly, this budget is largely a missed opportunity to help them and their families in any substantial way. There is now a real danger that the quality of life of our children - particularly the most vulnerable - is in jeopardy.
Our research reveals that those living in households that have experienced a fall in income are more than twice as likely to say they are unhappy with their lives than those living in homes that have prospered. And those living in workless households say they are particularly unhappy. Despite this, the Chancellor appears to have largely ignored the link between household income and children's well being."
"Apart from offering support for the young unemployed through increased apprenticeships and limited tax cuts for some families, the Chancellor has offered little for our least well off children.
It is particularly disappointing that this budget has failed to set out how the government will honour its pledge to make child poverty history - the fear is that far more children will move into poverty, than out of it."
For more information please contact The Children's Society media team on 020 7841 4422. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.
Notes to Editors
New report findings
The Children's Society on Thursday last week (17 March) released a report warning that the current economic situation is having a major effect on children’s well-being. 'How Happy are our Children? Measuring children’s well-being and exploring economic factors’ found that a decrease in family income is directly related to lower well-being for children. Findings, carried out in October 2010 and February 2011 with 4,000 young people, included:
- young people whose family income has decreased in the past year are more than twice as likely to have low well-being than those whose family income has increased.
- children whose parents are concerned about the impact of the recession on their family have significantly lower well-being than children with less worried parents.
- the proportion of young people with low well-being was significantly higher in households where no adults were in full time work (16% of young people in households where no one works full time had low well-being, as opposed to under 10% of other children).
The research is part of The Children's Society extensive research programme investigating children’s well-being.