Children England's response to the Chancellor's Spring Statement, 2019

The Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered the Spring Statement today, describing a strong and growing economy which he forecast would continue to support employment and wage growth as long as MPs do not allow the UK to leave the EU without a deal. His upbeat economic report, however, failed to acknowledge that its headline successes are built on austerity policies which continue to drive working families into poverty.

The main announcements of his statement concerned investment in the UK’s tech industries and measures to protect the environment. For a small number of families, his promise of around 30,000 affordable new homes might offer hope of escaping unsuitable housing. But for the millions of families whose low incomes leave them in poverty, hearing that employment levels are higher than ever will add insult to injury. The Chancellor offered no end to the benefit cap or the two-child limit, no investment in public services and no recognition that whilst he pursues budgets that supposedly avoid ‘burdening the next generation’, today’s children are paying the price.