Barnardo's CEO responds to the King's Speech

Published on
07 November 2023

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Lynn Perry MBE said: 

“Today’s King’s Speech was a missed opportunity for the Government to address rising child poverty, at a time when more than one in four children in the UK and their families are struggling to afford the basics. 
“We welcome the Government’s intention to ‘ease the cost-of-living’, and urge Ministers to take bold steps to adequately tackle this crisis, for example through removing the two-child cap on Universal Credit and extending free school meals to all primary school children in England. 

“We hope the promised investment in mental health services will include specific help for the one in six children who now have a diagnosable mental health disorder, including through the expansion of mental health teams to cover every school and college in England.  

“We look forward to working with Ministers to ensure the new Criminal Justice Bill is effective in tackling child sexual abuse and preventing online grooming, to keep children safe. We hope the Bill will include a statutory definition of child criminal exploitation to ensure professionals working with children are able to identify victims and arrange for them to get the help they need.”