NCB has responded to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of NCB, said:
“Families brought to brink after years of austerity, will find cold comfort in the Autumn Statement. These measures will simply not plug the gap in family incomes after years of flat-lining wages and benefit cuts.
“There is some good news: measures on Universal Credit, affordable housing and childcare will go some way towards helping the so-called just-about-managing families to keep the wolves from the door. But without a recognition across Government that a concerted effort is needed to reduce child poverty and its effects, many struggling children and families will have been given only a meagre cause for hope by the Chancellor.”
“Amending the rate at which Universal Credit tapers off for those in work is a step in the right direction: most children in poverty have a parent in work and families rely on in-work benefits to make ends meet. But after years of cuts under the previous Chancellor, this is too little to resurrect hard-up families’ standard of living.”
“Closing loopholes that have allowed some unscrupulous letting agents to levy considerable financial payments from families looking for rented accommodation, and further investment in affordable housing, will help families on low-incomes. However, for many families facing the prospect of a cold winter a greater concern is the damp and cold accommodation they will sleep in tonight. We urgently need Government action to improve the standards of the existing housing stock as well as planning for the future.”
Children at risk
“Record numbers of children are subject to care orders yet local authorities are being forced to slash their spending on Children’s Services as Government funding dries up. The Chancellor has failed to recognise that this places children’s welfare at risk and that an extra funding commitment is urgently needed to help these vulnerable children.”
“The Government has confirmed its plans to roll-out the so-called ‘tax-free’ childcare scheme from early next year, helping families with the costs of childcare, and we welcome that the ban on salary sacrifice schemes will exclude childcare. But more could be done to ensure that the childcare services on offer are of high-quality, and that families with disabled children and those with special educational needs can access affordable high-quality childcare close to where they live.”
For more information contact the National Children's Bureau's media office on 0207 843 6047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For urgent enquiries out of office hours call 07721 097 033.