Austerity ‘paints bleak picture’ for future generations

By Cassie Chambers

Austerity measures are negatively affecting children and young people, according to a report out today.

The report, released by the National Children's Bureau (NCB)and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children (APPGC), makes several recommendations for meeting the needs of children and young people in the current economic climate.

It suggests diverse strategies to target the "bleak" situation of Britain's youth today, including promoting early intervention, reducing child poverty and increasing coordination between the public and voluntary sectors.

The chief executive at NCB, Dr Hilary Emery, highlighted how austerity measures have decreased the ability of the charity sector to intervene to help vulnerable children. She said: "[The] report revealed that charities working with children and young people face cuts of almost half a billion pounds over the next four years.

"Added to cuts to family, children and youth services, freezing of welfare benefits, increases in university fees, scrapping of educational maintenance allowance and added pressures on family life with the rising cost of food, fuel and childcare, this paints a pretty bleak picture for our future generations."

Baroness Doreen Massey of Darwen, chair of the APPGC, suggested that there is some hope on the horizon, however.

 "Whilst the outlook isn't great for children and young people because of recent austerity measures, this report highlights that some services for children and young people have worked to alleviate the impact of recession," she said.

The baroness went on to emphasise the importance of government involvement moving forward, adding: "While children's charities themselves must be at the forefront of creating solutions, there is still a role for national government to put its weight behind the development of new partnerships and new ways of working."