A meagre Budget for seriously ill children

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity is disappointed that the Budget Statement offers little for seriously ill children and their families.

In yesterday’s Budget, Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced an additional £410 million for local authorities to provide social care for older people, people with disabilities, and children in 2019-2020. However, the Disabled Children’s Partnership has calculated that an extra £434 million is needed by local authorities for disabled children’s social care services alone. Rainbow Trust will be watching to see how any new funds are allocated at a local level, and the extent to which the needs of seriously ill children and their families are addressed.

Other announcements included new mental health crisis teams for adults and children, and additional money for the Disabled Facilities Grant which can provide home aids and adaptations for disabled children and adults who are on low incomes. The Chancellor also announced measures to ease the transition to Universal Credit which many low income families will be affected by.

Zillah Bingley, CEO of Rainbow Trust, said:

‘The Budget fell short of investing in the essential services that children and families need when a child is seriously ill. There is growing evidence that it is getting harder and harder for children and families to access local support, and the modest additional funds announced for social care are just a sticking plaster in light of budget challenges that local authorities face.

We welcome the announcement of a new mental health crisis service with £5 billion. However we urge government to recognise the value of investing in preventative services such as Rainbow Trust to give seriously ill children, their siblings and parents the practical and emotional support to avoid their needs escalating into a crisis because of the stress of their situation.’

Rainbow Trust was one of more than 130 charities and organisations who signed an open letter to the Prime Minister and Chancellor ahead of the Budget, calling for children to be at the heart of the Budget.

Sustained budgetary pressures on Local Authorities mean that it is harder than ever for Rainbow Trust to access local funding sources, with just 2.4% of its income coming from statutory sources in 2017-18.