National Children’s Bureau responds to Chancellor’s Budget 2018
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau, said:
‘After years of cuts, the services and support that children and young people rely on are at breaking point. While there are some individual proposals in today’s budget that we welcome, a piecemeal approach to the crisis will not deliver the change that children and young people so desperately need.
NCB is calling for children and young people to be put at the heart of next year’s spending review’.
‘It is simply unacceptable that up to three million children are at risk of going hungry during the school holidays[i], yet this is the reality in England today. The Chancellor has made welcome announcements on Universal Credit, but this cannot be a substitute for a strategy to reverse the year-on-year rises in child poverty.’
No solution to the crisis in children’s services
‘The gap between demand for children’s services and the resources available to local authorities is simply unsustainable. Last year, ninety children were taken into care every day – a record high[ii] - and local authorities overspent by £430 million[iii]. This is pushing local authorities to the brink of bankruptcy. £84 million to expand successful children's social care programmes will make a difference, but it will not be enough to tackle the unsustainable pressure on council budgets.’
The drivers of poor mental health left unaddressed
‘Greater investment in children and young people’s mental health services is positive. Currently fewer than a third of children and young people with a diagnosable mental health issue are getting access to NHS funded treatment[iv]. Investment in better services will make a difference, but it will not be enough to address the underlying drivers of poor mental health: poverty, abuse, neglect, unmet needs and exclusion.’
Unsustainable pressure on funding for children with SEND to continue
‘A one-off payment to schools to spend on buildings, is not enough to support a mainstream system that is increasingly unable to meet the needs of children with SEND.’
Notes to editors
For urgent enquiries out of office-hours call: 07721 097 033.
About the National Children’s Bureau
The National Children’s Bureau is a leading children’s charity working to build a better childhood for every child. We champion children’s right to be safe, secure and supported, by using evidence and our expert knowledge to influence government policy, and help practitioners to do the best job possible, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people.
For more information visit www.ncb.org.uk
[i] Estimate from The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger, 2017, Hungry Holidays - A report on hunger amongst children during school holidays,
[ii] In England and Wales 32,810 children started to be looked after in 2016-17
Department for Education, 2017, Children looked after in England (including adoption), year ending 31 March 2017
[iii] Local Government Association (2017) Bright Futures
[iv] Government estimate for 2018/19 from Implementing The Five Year Forward View For Mental Health, 2016, NHS England https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/fyfv-mh.pdf