Wednesday 7 March 2018 / 11:01 AM Andrew Gwynne / Children's Services / John McDonnell

Labour launches report revealing the Tory-made crisis in children’s services

Labour launches report revealing the Tory-made crisis in children’s services

Labour today (Wednesday) has launched a report revealing the crisis facing the funding of children’s services in England.

John McDonnell will visit the Liz Atkinson Children’s Centre in London to launch a report which highlights the dangerous funding crisis facing children’s services in England, and call on the Government to act in next week’s Spring Statement by providing the £2 billion by 2020 in resources that services desperately need.

The report’s shocking findings include:

– Last year saw the biggest rise in the number of children in care for seven years.
– Between 2010 and 2016, the number of children assessed by social workers as being in need rose by 5 per cent, the number of children subject to a child protection plan increased by 29 per cent, and number of children in care went up 10 per cent.
– Children’s services are facing a £2 billion funding gap by 2020
– Since 2010 there has been a real terms decrease by 40 per cent in local authority spending on early intervention
– Three-quarters of English councils exceeded their budgets for children’s services last year, totalling a huge £605m overspend.
– 41 per cent of councillors with responsible for children’s services felt unable to fulfil at least one of their statutory duties as a result of funding pressures.

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said:

“It is a national scandal that vulnerable children are paying the price for the austerity policies of this Tory government. Today’s report lays out in stark detail how nearly eight years of Tory austerity has created a crisis in children’s services in our country.

“It is simply unacceptable that while there are more children being taken into care today that at any point since the 1980s, children’s services face a £2 billion deficit by 2020. And according to the National Children’s Bureau, more than one in three councillors are warning that cuts have left them with insufficient resources to support these children.

“The Chancellor must use the opportunity of next week’s Spring Statement to end this crisis made in Downing Street that is hitting our local communities. Failure to act would be morally reprehensible.”

Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities Secretary, said:

“The past eight years of Tory austerity has hit some of the most vulnerable in our society the hardest. Many local councils are doing all they can – but with unprecedented funding cuts since 2010 this is becoming increasingly difficult.

“Unless the Chancellor finally listens to the demands of councillors, parents and politicians of all parties, we will see more and more vulnerable children go without the care that they need and councils will be pushed even closer to the financial brink.

“Next week’s Spring Statement needs to deliver for vulnerable children and their families, providing sustainable funding for our public services before this crisis turns into a catastrophe.”