Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children's Bureau said:
"The summer budget was a missed opportunity to put children first. Apart from additional free childcare there was little that will genuinely take forward the government's manifesto pledge to ensure every child gets the best start in life.
"It is particularly startling that the government chose not to protect the nation's children in the same way that it is protecting pensioners. Cuts to welfare support have already hit children extremely hard - they are twice as likely to be living in poverty as older people. Yet the principal sources of support for children - child benefit and child tax credit - have not been protected with an equivalent of the 'triple lock' on pensions and are being reduced. Children deserve the same guarantees as pensioners but instead the chancellor has chosen to make them pay the price for further welfare cuts.
"The decision to abolish the automatic entitlement to housing benefits risks pulling the rug from under young people as they struggle to move into independence. It is vital that care leavers and other vulnerable groups are exempted from these cuts otherwise those who are in most need of help will be unfairly penalised.
"As councils face continued demand for their services from those children and families in greatest need, measures to give local government in Manchester greater autonomy will, we hope, result in the development of innovative solutions to the problems facing local residents. It is only through close cooperation that councils can effectively support children and families when resources are stretched."