'Spending on children and young people’s services has been axed by nearly £1bn in real terms over the past six years, new analysis shows, prompting concerns that thousands of families are missing out on “lifeline” support.
The Labour Party has accused the government of “slashing support for those that need it most” after it found the planned net expenditure on services for children and young people has seen a real terms cut of £960m.
The party’s analysis of government figures shows that in 2012 the planned spending stood at £7.9bn, but by 2017 it had fallen to £7.6bn. While this is a nominal cut of more than £300m, it represents a near billion figure when inflation is taken into account.
It comes amid warnings from the Local Government Association (LGA) that local authorities are struggling to provide support for vulnerable children and families, and face a funding gap of £2bn by 2020.
A report by three leading children’s charities in November revealed that “crippling” central government cuts had left councils with no option but to close services designed to detect early signs of child neglect and abuse – forcing them to direct to a “crisis” firefighting model.'
Read more: Spending on children and young people's services cut by nearly £1billion in six years, figures reveal
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