Government’s “nothing has changed” approach to children’s services slammed

The Government is offering nothing to vulnerable children living in Portsmouth, Labour have said. This is despite the Tories cutting taxes on the very banks whose reckless behaviour led us into the 2007 financial crisis.

Andrew Gwynne MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said

“The Tories’ budget last month offered nothing for vulnerable children and their families. This vital service is becoming unsustainable and we need urgent action from the Government.

Unless the Government finally listens to the warnings of councillors, parents and politicians of all parties, we will see more and more vulnerable children go without the care that they need.

John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor to the Exchequer, said

Philip Hammond had a choice, because austerity was always a political choice, not an economic necessity. He could continue with the tax giveaways to the super-rich and the corporations that have been the hallmark of Conservative Chancellors since 2010. Or he could choose to end the crisis in our children’s services.

But the Chancellor made his decision. The Bank Levy, introduced shortly after the global financial crisis, is to be cut further, continuing the giveaways made by his predecessor, George Osborne, that will see billions handed back to the major banks by 2020. The Banking Surcharge, supposedly introduced to compensate the taxpayer for this loss, won’t come close to making good the difference.”

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“There is a crisis in the way our Government treats vulnerable children. The government could have shown they understood the situation, and given our city the funding and resources to address this crisis, but sadly, they failed.

It stretches right across the country, with children’s services facing more and more referrals and less funding to deal with them.

Despite this, the Tories are continuing the reductions in the Bank Levy. This was the special tax imposed on the banks after they crashed the global economy in 2008, but Tory reductions mean that nearly £5bn will given away to the bankers over 5 years – with even more reductions to follow.

Last month’s budget was a budget from an out-of-touch Government with no idea of the reality of people’s lives in our great city and no plan to improve them. It has simply handed more tax giveaways to banks and big business and done nothing to challenge or address the unfairness people face in Portsmouth”.