Children's Charities Coalition responds to Spring Budget

In reaction to the Chancellor’s Budget, CEOs from the Children’s Charities Coalition: Paul Carberry: Action for Children; Lynn Perry MBE: Barnardo’s; Mark Russell: The Children’s Society; Anna Feuchtwang: National Children’s Bureau; Sir Peter Wanless: NSPCC, said:

“Quality public services are what children and families need, and what the electorate wants. The Chancellor had a golden opportunity to show he understood this and address a crisis in childhoods, brought about by spiralling inequality and deepening levels of poverty and deprivation. Sadly, there were few measures in his Budget to help children who are in the most desperate need.

“We are particularly disappointed that our repeated calls for significant funding to rebuild children’s services have gone unheeded. The 2022 Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England called for £2.6billion of funding over four years, but we are still no further forward after today’s announcements.

“Ahead of the general election, we want to see all political parties commit to creating an ambitious cross-government strategy to drive improvements for babies, children and young people, backed by an undertaking to spend more of the nation’s wealth improving the lives of children and families. Today’s announcement fails to recognise the crisis facing many children across the country.”

Anna Feuchtwang, CEO of the National Children’s Bureau, added:

“Sadly, empty promises about improving productivity will not shore up the decimated services that, when properly funded, can help the children whose safety, health and development are in jeopardy.

“The Chancellor has promised a 1% real-term growth in public spending overall, but in reality that could still mean serious cuts are on the cards for the services that children rely on, once protected budgets for areas like defence are factored in.

“Raising the upper threshold on child benefits won’t shift the dial for the increasing numbers of families swept into poverty by the cost-of-living crisis. It would have been far better if the Budget had taken decisive action to scrap the two-child limit to benefit payments, remove the benefit cap, and boost the child element of Universal Credit by £15 a week.

“And for disabled children and those with special educational needs, the announcement of £105m for 15 new special schools may bolster the number of places available, but it won’t expand the workforce desperately needed to assess pupils’ needs and ensure that they receive early support.

“All in all, this was a budget that scattered a few crumbs for babies, children and young people, but failed to provide the root and branch investment, targeted at those who need it most, needed to secure brighter futures for our children.”


Find out more about the Children at the Table campaign, led by the Children’s Charities Coalition, here.