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4Children's national campaign to support families through tough times

Families with children are facing an unprecedented squeeze on their finances as a result of the rising cost of everyday necessities like food, petrol and childcare and reductions in benefits and tax credits.

At the same time many families are feeling an unprecedented ‘care squeeze’ as they try to meet the dual challenges of raising children and caring for elderly relatives. In tough time families need support to allow them become the asset to this country that we know they can be.

The Government has already taken steps to protect pensioners by introducing a ‘triple lock’ to ensure that the state pensions will rise by inflation, average earnings or 2.5 per cent – whichever is higher. In contrast families are struggling with real terms cuts in tax credits, child benefit, and maternity and paternity pay among other things. The Fair4Families campaign is calling on the Government to introduce a ‘triple lock’ for families.

This ‘triple lock’ involves

  1. Recognising families are assets that will contribute to  our economic and social recovery with the right support and that in the long-term we need to be:
    • Delivering an ambitious vision of support for families, including childcare, backed by investment so that more parents can contribute to economic growth and flourish
    • Ensuring greater investment in housing to give more people the chance to realise their aspiration of a home fit for a family
    • Making a real shift in spending from ineffective late intervention to early intervention – cutting the cost of social failure in the long-term
    • Developing a credible strategy to begin to eradicate child poverty
  2. That crucial services for families with children are protected from spending reductions. This means maintaining spending in real terms on free early years childcare for 2, 3 and 4 year olds; early intervention services including Sure Start Children’s Centres; and relationship and parenting support.
  3. Recognition that family budgets are under severe strain as a result of rising prices and real terms cuts to benefits – further reductions risk pushing many families over the edge. A commitment to no further real terms cuts to benefits paid to families with children to ensure they maintain the support they need to prosper.

Campaign to date

4Children have already campaigned on these issues in the run up to the Comprehensive Spending Review of 26 June 2013. Read our response to the review here.