Rishi Sunak “disguised cut” in youth services in the “smoke and mirrors” budget

EXCLUSIVE: Chancellor left £ 470million black hole in funding for the sector – and Labor says this will ‘force many grassroots youth organizations to shut down’

Youth clubs to close, says Labor

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is accused of a “disguised cut” in youth services as part of his “smoke and mirrors” budget.

Labor say youth services that help underprivileged teens could be shut down after the Tories’ spending review left a £ 470million black hole in funds for the sector.

It comes after funds for the National Citizen Service, which runs school holiday activities for teens, were combined with funds for the Youth Investment Fund, leaving a sector that provided for overall funds of $ 1.03 billion. pounds sterling with 560 million pounds sterling.

Cat Smith, the shadow minister of Labor for youth, said ministers had wronged young people after a decade of town hall cuts that saw hundreds of recreation centers and youth clubs shut down.

She said, “With conservative cuts year after year, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen an increase in anti-social behavior alongside the enormous challenge of violent crime and county boundaries. Youth services prevent serious violence among young people which costs taxpayers dearly and ruins the lives of young people.

“Under the last Labor government, youth services were a deeply rooted community service that young people could access regardless of their background. Under the Conservatives it is an uneven zip code lottery with too many young people who have never been to a youth club.

“Given all that has been taken away from youth services over the past decade by the Conservatives, this disguised government cut is likely to force many grassroots youth organizations to shut down.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak


Getty Images)

The government said it would “assess” the “effectiveness” of the two regimes to see what additional funds might be needed in the future.

Anne Longfield, chair of the Commission on Young Lives, said youth services help teens and children at risk of exploitation by county gangs, adding: “Youth leaders play a vital role in combating the scourge of serious violence and criminal exploitation of children.

“The promise of additional funding is always welcome, but it must now be fully realized. Vulnerable youth should not have to wait indefinitely for support that can help them rebuild safely. “

The funding gap came in a budget that increased national insurance to pay for the NHS and social care, and froze income tax brackets next year.

As a result, the Resolution Foundation has calculated that Britons will pay £ 3,000 more in taxes on average by 2026 than when Boris Johnson took office.

Economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies also had a grim assessment, warning that with rising food and energy bills, working families will face “real pain” – despite the end of the wage freeze in the public sector and an increase in the minimum wage.

The Treasury said it had honored its clear commitments to young people, saying the £ 561million for youth services over the next three years included £ 368million for the Investment Fund for the youth, £ 173million for the NCS pursuit and an additional £ 20million for additional youth services.

A government spokesperson said: “The government will evaluate and evaluate the effectiveness of these youth programs (YIF and NCS) to focus on what works for youth. Any future spending is a decision for future spending reviews.

NCS Trust, chief executive of Mark Gifford, said the organization was “grateful” for the money after the Covid pandemic.

He said: “Given the incredible demands on public funds as the country emerges from the shadow of Covid, we are very grateful for the continued support we have received from the government.

“Our funding allocation will reflect our willingness to work closely with the wider youth sector, while providing good value for the taxpayer and rewarding experiences to help young people prepare for the world and for work. . “

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Natalee Broderick

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