'A smoke and mirrors budget'

File photo dated 08/02/12 of a child playing. More than one in four parents are struggling to balanc

1,000 Sure Start centres and 750 youth centres have closed since 2010 - Credit: PA

This week the chancellor announced his budget leaving the government’s claims of ‘levelling up’ brutally exposed.

Among the announcements were commitments to fund so-called Family Hubs in 75 areas and 300 more youth centres.

Like many commitments in the budget, the reality of the last decade were obscured, including the fact that the nearly 1,000 Sure Start centres and 750 youth centres that have closed since 2010.

Labour Party's Apsana Begum

MP Apsana Begum says that the reality of the last decade was obscured in the budget - Credit: PA Images

This was a smoke and mirrors budget, to make believe that government are ‘building back better’, as they had promised when the pandemic began.

Funding remains desperately short to tackle the most pressing issues of our time, from the epidemic of violence against women and girls to the building safety crisis.

As we head into another harsh winter, I will continue to push for the large-scale public investment needed. It’s time the government’s rhetoric of ‘levelling up’ is made a reality.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter