The Children’s Society responds to the Autumn Statement

On today’s Autumn Statement, Mark Russell, Chief Executive at The Children’s Society, said:

“The Chancellor’s decisions to increase benefits in line with inflation and unfreeze Local Housing Allowances offers a lifeline for struggling families across the UK. This move is a step in the right direction but falls far short of addressing the broader challenges facing our nation’s children.  

“This government has consistently overlooked the needs of children in their policy-making. The absence of increased funding for children’s services is a glaring omission and we are deeply troubled by the implications of the Chancellor’s proposal to bring in stricter conditions within our social security system. Increased investment in employment support is welcome but the majority of children living in poverty – three quarters, in fact – come from households where at least one parent or carer is already employed.  

“The consequences of this are evident: a troubling rise in child poverty, a growing mental health crisis among our youth, and unacceptable delays in providing essential support services. This Autumn Statement,  like its predecessors, misses a crucial opportunity to invest in the future of children, especially those who have faced challenging beginnings.  

“Our call to action is clear: It’s time for the government to place children at the forefront of its agenda. This includes a dedicated effort to eradicate child poverty and a significant investment in early intervention services. The need for change is urgent – our children deserve a secure and fulfilling childhood, and they cannot wait any longer for these necessary reforms.”