The children's charity Barnardo’s has expressed concern about the UK government’s plans to cap spending on parts of Annually Managed Expenditure (AME), the pot of money that covers the benefits system and safeguards households against loss of income during periods of economic instability and recession.
Following the Autumn Statement, Barnardo’s is calling on the Government to consult fully on its plans to cap AME, and to consult on and future decision resulting from the cap.
It wants an increase in preventative spending on, for example, NEET (young people "Not in Education, Employment, or Training") reduction programmes to reduce long term nnually Managed Expenditure.
Barnardo’s Assistant Director of Policy and Research Neera Sharma commented: “With the recent recession tearing a £1,250 hole into the average income, and with so many struggling, it’s concerning that the Government now plans to limit spending on the safety net that prevents families falling into crisis.
“The harsh reality is that the downturn isn’t yet over for thousands of parents.For poor families still struggling with job losses and soaring living costs, the welfare system remains a lifeline that protects the wellbeing of their children.
“It is imperative that the government ensures their decisions don’t plunge more families into hardship. It must consult fully on any plans to cap Annually Managed Expenditure (AME), whilst also committing to helping families to work their way out of poverty, for example by investing money in vocational training which can lead to jobs,” concluded Sharma.
* Barnado's: http://www.barnardos.org.uk/
* More from Ekklesia on the Autumn Statement 2013: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/autumnstatement