Posted: 17 March 2016

A budget for the next generation?

Yesterday, the Chancellor talked a lot about how the new budget was for the ’next generation’.

True, there were some welcome things included in the budget, such as more funding for breakfast clubs and mentoring for disadvantaged pupils, but the majority of the budget offers limited hope for the next generation.

Child poverty rates, pressure on family incomes

Yesterday, the Chancellor announced that 'child poverty had fallen'. However, his claim ignored the fact that half a million more children live in absolute poverty compared with 2010, and the numbers in the most severe poverty are also rising. Without immediate action, independent forecasts indicate that hundreds of thousands more will join them.

Our recent report, The Future of Family Incomes, found that families will be struggling from cuts to support proposed in previous budgets, such as the benefit freeze, the benefit cap and the two child limit.

Changes announced yesterday to the Personal Independence Payment, which provides support for disabled adults, are likely to make life harder for many disabled parents. This will put further pressure on young carers supporting them.

High levels of homelessness 16 and 17 year olds

We welcome the Chancellor’s commitment to additional funding for projects to tackle rough sleeping.

However, the Government needs to address the issue of vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds presenting themselves as homeless. Our Getting the House in Order report found that 12,000 16 and 17 year olds face the challenge of homelessness every year.

Missed opportunities

Early intervention projects such as children’s centres and family support services help address problems early on before they escalate into costly and acute problems that the NHS and social services have to deal with later down the line. By 2020, it is predicted that funding for early intervention projects will have fallen by 71% in ten years. The Chancellor should have used the budget to provide extra support for these key early help services.

Ahead of CSE Awareness Day tomorrow , it would have been good if the Chancellor had announced additional therapeutic support for victims of child sexual exploitation and for other children who have experienced traumatic events. However, this too was missing from the budget.

In his speech, the Chancellor talked about  the need to ‘act now rather than pay later’. Yet, this budget was a missed opportunity. The next generation will have to wait a bit longer for a Budget that commits the resources needed to tackle the acute challenges they face.


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Asking the Chancellor for better Budgeting for early help

Posted: 15 March 2016