Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children's Bureau said:
'Today's budget falls short in putting children and young people's interests at the heart of public spending decisions. While we welcome new funding for children's mental health services, there is little other good news for children and young people and we are concerned that the Chancellor lacks a coordinated strategy to make this country the best place for them to grow up in.
'The Chancellor has responded to campaigning organisations and children themselves to inject much-needed funding into mental health services for children and young people, which for far too long have been a neglected part of the NHS. But more can be done and mental health services for children must be funded in great parity with those for adults. We must also ensure that funding is translated into services in areas of need quickly, to alleviate the suffering of children with mental health issues.
'We challenge the complacency the Chancellor has shown in claiming a drop in child poverty. Some research suggests a different picture, with the number of children growing up under the poverty line projected to rise to 4.7m by 2020 , the date by which the government has pledged to eradicate child poverty. Going forward we need a firm commitment from all parties to commit to this goal, and outline a clear strategy for achieving it, should they be elected in the coming election.
The Office for Budget Responsibility should publish an independent analysis of the impact of this and future Budgets on child poverty and childhood inequality. This will help to ensure that economic decisions taken today, and by Chancellors in the future, are in the interests of children and young people, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.'