Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, comments on today’s budget
Commenting on today’s Budget Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England said:
“The Chancellor has missed his final opportunity to close the gap between England’s poorest and richest children in today’s Budget. Whilst his statement referenced declining levels of child poverty, the Government missed its 2010 target to reduce child poverty and is on course to miss it’s 2020 pledge to eradicate it. Our own forensic analyses of changes to taxes and benefits in recent years estimates that an additional 600,000 children were pushed into poverty between 2010 and 2015 and the Budget provides no optimism that it will reverse this trend: the benefits cap will still be applied to households, regardless of the number of children or other dependents in the family and families in rented social housing can still expect financial penalties where they are deemed to be under-occupied, simply because children have their own bedrooms.
I welcome the announcement that there will be long-awaited and much-needed investment in children’s mental health services and an increase in the financial support parents of disabled children will receive to help with childcare costs. However, increases to the personal tax allowance; threshold for paying income tax at the higher rate; and help to buy ISAs will benefit the better off – those who are in work – rather than the poorest. It is concerning that a further £12bn will be taken from the welfare budget – we need to understand the detail of where this is coming from and its true impact on children.”