Our response to the Spring Budget 2024

Type Policy and research document

Published on
7 March 2024

More than 1 in 4 children in the UK live in poverty and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis has left families across the country struggling to afford the basics. Following the Spring Budget 2024 annoucement, Barnardo’s welcomes an extension to the Household Support Fund - a lifeline for so many children and their families but we are concerned that many will face a cliff-edge when it ends in September.

Barnardo’s also welcomes the £165m investment into the children’s homes estate but in the context of the £2.6billion needed to reform children’s social care and address the spiralling crisis facing the sector, compounded by the public services funding settlement freeze, we are concerned that the funding is unlikely to keep up with demand.  

Whilst these announcements will benefit families, Barnardo’s is deeply disappointed that the Spring Budget failed to include significant investment in children’s social care, mental health support and services to support children who are most at risk from abuse and exploitation. A budget for long-term growth requires a long-term strategy for children and plan to lift those most in need out of poverty. 

Many of our calls relate to early intervention and prevention. Such investment prevents families reaching crisis point, not only reducing the financial cost to the state, but would allow more children and families to improve their long-term life chances. 

Based on our latest research, this briefing sets out the changes we believe would ensure children living in the UK today are safe, happy, healthy and hopeful.