Emma Hardy, the MP for Hull West and Hessle, yesterday called on the Conservative Government to reverse its cuts to the bank levy and put more money into Children’s Services.
Emma made the call during a speech in Parliament as part of the Finance Bill’s Committee Stage. It comes on the back of Phillip Hammond, the Conservative Chancellor’s decision to include a proposal to reduce the Bank Levy in his budget on the 22nd November.
Labour is opposing the reduction to the levy and Emma used her contribution in the debate to call on them to fund Children’s services instead.
In terms of Children and Young Person’s Services. the headline figures for Hull City Council are these:
- Spending on Children and Young People’s Services is down by £19.5 million since 2010. This represents a loss of one quarter of the council’s spending power since 2010 and is just half of the £37 million that needs to be cut before 2020.
- The average waiting time to get a diagnosis for autism is now over 14 months.
- The Number of Sure Start Centres in the city has gone down since 2010 with 5 being cut in the city over the last year alone.
- The number of children classed as Children in Need is up by 2068. This represents an increase of nearly 50% since 2010.
This is a result of a wider programme of Government funding cuts that have seen Hull City Council lose 32% of its spending power since 2010.
Emma said “It is now nearly 8 years since the Conservative and Lib Dem Government came to power and began a programme of cuts. This has led to large cuts to Children and Young Person’s Services. While the cuts to these services have fallen hardest on women, the children and families who use them, the fallout has an effect on the economy and all our daily lives.
“Given the desperate state of Children and Young People Services across the country, I am very surprised to see the Chancellor has made the choice to reduce the bank levy- effectively depriving the Government of funds that could be spent on vital Children and Young People Services. The Chancellor has to ask whether this Finance Bill will create the conditions to give every child the support they need to give every child the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Until we can answer yes to these questions, a reduction in the bankers levy is a luxury that we can’t afford. That’s why I’m backing Labour’s amendments and calling on the Government to provide more funding for Children’s Services before a single penny is taken off the banking levy.”