We must focus on children’s futures

SEEING the great work of charities such as York Cares in The Press made me reflect on the opportunities available to young people.

There is significant evidence that early intervention measures (and particularly children’s centres) introduced under Labour gave a good start to children in their formative years.

Since 2010, the Coalition removed the ring-fence on such funding, which has resulted in the closure of many centres and a reduction of services.

The redeployment of the Early Intervention Grant next year threatens to reduce funding by more than 20 per cent.

Even the Tory leader of the Local Government Association recognises that reducing early intervention spending will increase demand for lifelong interventions.

On top of these service cuts, the Institute For Fiscal Studies estimate an additional million children will be placed in ‘relative poverty’ by 2020, due to cuts.

Margaret Thatcher oversaw an unprecedented increase in inequality between 1979 and 1990, in which the richest ten per cent pocketed half of all tax cuts, while the bottom half shared only 15 per cent. Her policies remain a scar on many people and communities.

It is critical for the future of our society that we focus on the life chances of our children.

Richard Bridge, Holgate Road, York.

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