Child Poverty groups respond to the Chancellor's Budget, saying that the most vulnerable will suffer.
John Dickie, director of Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, responded to the budget by saying: "This Budget puts the next generation last and sets it up to be the poorest for decades. The Chancellor ignored the one in five children in Scotland and the 3.7 million children across the UK who are in poverty now, and the fact that, according to IFS projections we face the biggest increase in child poverty in a generation." For reported story in The National, read here
The Chancellor delivered some big investments for the better off but there was little for hard-up parents and families. Improving children’s life chances starts with ensuring that families have enough stability and security - this isn't only financial, it's about relationships that matter. The ACP says this means investing in those services who provide support and care for the most vulnerable in society.
However, with the Chancellor’s plans to eliminate the involvement of local authorities in schools and the push for universal academisation of all schools in England by 2020, the implications of this step can affect children negatively. The National Children's Bureau has said they have “serious concerns that removing local authorities from the planning of education across an area could further disadvantage children who are already vulnerable because they have special educational needs, mental health problems or are at risk of missing education." They have also stated that “there was evidence that local authorities were often as effective as academy chains in providing high quality education.” For the reported story from the BBC, read here
ACP Chair Heather Stewart says: "Child Psychotherapists see some of the most distressed and psychologically unwell children and young people. We are not seeing any more resources made available to help these children and young people. If anything we are seeing front-line services being cut."
ACP media and Communications lead and child psychotherapist, Alison Roy added: Although we support the "sugar tax" which does address one aspect of child health, I am concerned about the overall health and wellbeing of children. Especially those children who require ongoing and consistent support from the state, I fear that we are letting these children down.
She added: "We seem to be going backwards rather than forwards in providing welfare and the right care to those who most need it."