“Protect our children” – McDonnell’s plea to Tory chancellor amid funding crisis

Sienna Rodgers

Today Labour’s John McDonnell used Treasury Questions to call on Philip Hammond to act as even the chancellor’s own local council faces a funding crisis.

The shadow chancellor pointed out that an APPG inquiry into children’s social care found “9 out of 10 councils are struggling to meet their legal duties” due to the severity of government funding cuts.

As McDonnell noted in his question, it has been reported that the situation is set to worsen as “over half the councils in England are planning further cuts to children’s services”.

“With the crisis in children’s services, this is not the time for bland ministerial responses,” said McDonnell.

“I’m not sure if the Ministers or Chancellor has witnessed the suffering of a child being taken into care. I have and it can scar a child for life.

“The President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services said: “we cannot go on as we are”. It is reported that over half the councils in England are planning further cuts to children’s services.

“Can I appeal – once again – to the Chancellor to use the Spring Statement to address the £2 billion funding gap in our children’s services to protect our children?”

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