Charity says Budget does not go far enough to support children

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The Chief Executive of one of East Anglia’s leading children’s charities has welcomed some of the proposals made in today’s Budget, but says it still doesn’t go far enough in supporting children and young people.

Geoff Prescott, CEO of Ormiston Children & Families Trust, said: “There are parts of the budget that we welcome, but children are the future of this country and they should be invested in and their parents should be supported. There are a few measures announced by the Chancellor that do this, but it doesn’t go far enough for us.

“There’s been some controversy about the new childcare arrangements but the principle of making childcare easier to pay for has to be supported, it’s a very good thing. However, we shouldn’t neglect the fact that both parents might not want to go out to work. We must support this choice rather than punish it.

“Perhaps one of the most positive things to come out of the Chancellor’s Budget today is the scrapping of the planned fuel duty rise. When you mention the word ‘fuel’ you don’t immediately think of children and families, but I think this is the proposal that have the most impact people’s lives.

“The cost of fuel, whether taking children to school or the doctors, or having a social life, is completely different to urban areas. In 2010 the Rowntree Trust found that a family of four living in rural areas like Cambridgeshire needed £42,000 to have a basic standard of life, whereas a family living in an urban area would need £28,000. Anything to help fuel costs in rural areas should be welcomed.”

Ormiston has over 40 services across East Anglia. In Cambridgeshire the charity supports children and families affected by imprisonment, runs two children’s centres in March and Chatteris, delivers a Travellers Health Advocacy Project and offers parenting support programmes.