Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/721/14634
The Socialist 6 June 2012 |
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Children still getting raw deal
The Con-Dems' cuts in child services have become a hotly debated topic. On 30 May Nick Clegg proudly announced that: "Every child should have a fair crack at the whip from the start" and "go on to fulfil their potential". I ask: who are you kidding?
Clegg was announcing a scheme where less than 1,000 two year olds are to benefit from free childcare a year early as trials are brought forward in ten areas of England.
The changes are intended to "introduce greater flexibility", allowing some parents to take advantage of the scheme, currently used by over 800,000 three to four year olds.
From September 2013, it is intended that 150,000 of the most disadvantaged two year olds will receive up to 15 hours a week of free pre-school education, increasing to 260,000 in 2014.
A fitting response or salty tincture? Average childcare costs are more than £5,000 a year vs. income of £26,000, child benefit has been slashed, child services have been cut by 40%. 58% of the 3.8 million children growing up in poverty have one member of the household working. Many parents are unable to afford to return to work because of childcare costs.
Between 1998 and 2011, child poverty was reduced by 900,000. But now it is expected to rise again by 300,000 by 2015/16. It is estimated that the consequences of child poverty cost society £25 billion per year. Who exactly is cracking the fair whip here?
In 2007 Unicef reported children in the UK were the unhappiest in the 'developed world'. I believe a village raises a child and that young people only reflect what society has put onto them. In the current climate of Con-Dem cuts, our children are being hit the hardest.
The Socialist Party says:
- Stop all cuts to jobs, services, wages and conditions
- Build for a mass turnout to the TUC organised demonstration on 20 October
- For a 24-hour general strike against austerity
- For councils that make a stand and refuse to implement the Con-Dems cuts
- For a new mass workers' party to be a political voice against the cuts
- An immediate 50% levy on the £750 billion lying idle in the banks of big businesses in Britain
- No to privatisation. Re-nationalise all privatised utlities and services under democratic workers' control and management, with compensation paid only on the basis of proven need
- Mass investment into a programme of public works and socially useful job creation
- For a democratic socialist plan of production to meet the needs of all