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Responding to the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review Anne Longfield, Chief Executive of 4Children said:
There are more questions than answers for children and families in today’s spending review. In particular, the Chancellor said nothing about how Government will seek to address rising child poverty or what the continued squeeze on local authority spending will mean for vital services in local communities including Sure Start Children’s Centres. Indeed, the CSR confirms the fear that beyond the welcome announcement on Troubled Families, there is a hole where Government’s family policy should be.
The Fair4Families campaign has been calling on Government to make families with children a priority – as it has done with pensioners. Government has not chosen to do this, in fact families were barely mentioned during the one hour statement. It is hard to see how government will realise its ambition to make Britain the most family friendly nation in Europe when families seem so far down its agenda.
In addition we are anxious for a guarantee from the Chancellor that the announced seven day wait for benefit claimants will not apply to claimants with dependent children. Without such an exclusion this could mean thousands of children going without basic essentials during this gap in family income. This would be completely unacceptable in a civilised society and may lead parents to rely on payday loans and other expensive sources of credit to put food on the table. ”
To request an interview or statement, please contact: Sheetal Morzaria on 0207 522 6986 / 0755 7941 018 or Sheetal.firstname.lastname@example.org or Julie Evans on 0207 522 6928 / 0791 7870 641 or Julie.email@example.com
4Children is the national children and families charity which develops, influences and shapes national policy on all aspects of children, young people and families lives and works with a wide range of partners to deliver real support for children and families in their community. It is one of the largest not for profit Children’s Centre providers in the country and currently runs over 80 Children’s Centres as well as Day Nurseries and youth support programmes nationwide.
Fair4Families is 4Children’s national campaign which has been calling on the Chancellor to put families at the heart of his Comprehensive Spending Review. Families with children are facing an unprecedented squeeze as a result of the rising cost of necessities like food, petrol and childcare and reductions in benefits and tax credits, while pensioners have been protected from many austerity measures and now benefit from a pensions ‘triple lock’.
Families have contributed their fair share to deficit reduction and need a ‘triple lock’ too. That means:
• Delivering an ambitious vision for families, including: childcare, backed by investment; greater investment in housing; a shift in spending to early intervention; and a credible strategy to eradicate child poverty.
• Protecting crucial services for families from spending reductions. This means maintaining real spending on: free early years childcare; early intervention services like Sure Start Centres; and parenting support.
• Committing to no further real terms cuts to family benefits, to ensure they maintain the support they need to prosper.