Children's Commissioner: Next prime minister should spend billions

Last updated at 05:46
A sad child.Getty Images

The next Prime Minister should give more money to vulnerable children, that's according to the Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield.

New research from the Children's Commissioners office estimates that one in five children living in England are growing up in difficult family situations. The report also says that more than 800 thousand children aren't getting support and are being let down by services.

That means that, for lots of children who face problems in their lives, they aren't getting the help that they need.

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For example, latest figures show that the amount of children with mental health problems - such as anxiety or depression - rose by nearly 50% between 2004 and 2017. However, local councils struggle to afford to help large numbers of children, as it costs a lot to help just one child individually.

Now, Anne Longfield, the Children's Commissioner for England, is asking the next Prime Minister to put billions of pounds towards helping kids who face difficult childhoods.

The commissioner wants Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt to help children to have a better start in life by spending £10 billion to deal with issues like children's mental health, gang culture, poor education and violence at home.

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The Children's Commissioner wants the next prime minister, either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, to pledge billions of pounds to help vulnerable children

Anne Longfield says that children and their families need support from before birth and throughout childhood, and that without this help children can fall behind in school and life in general.

"I want to challenge the contenders for the Conservative leadership and the keys to No 10 what they intend to do about this." She said.

Continuing, the Commissioner explained how both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are planning tax cuts, when that money could be spent to help children.

"All of this is money could be spent on getting millions of children back on their feet and boosting their life chances.

"Our initial calculation suggests it might cost in the region of £10bn per year to fix this broken system. It might be more, it might be less, but what I do believe is it'll save money in the long term."

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