Children’s social care spending overspends by £800m

New analysis of data released alongside the recent Budget shows that children’s social care spending exceeded budgets by £800 million last year.

According to data published by the Office for Budget Responsibility, and analysed by the Labour Party, the rising pressure on children’s services has seen local authorities over-spend their budgets for children’s social care by £800 million a year, double the £400 million overspend in 2015.

Children’s social care now amounts to the vast majority of total over-spending by English local authorities, which the OBR found was just over £1 billion in the last fiscal year. However, despite the spend majority, council cuts and record numbers of children in need have meant that the additional social care funding announced in the Budget is not enough to reverse the current overspend even if it were all spent on children’s services.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said: “The Prime Minister promised that austerity was over, but it is clear that the most vulnerable children in society will continue to suffer for years to come. The huge increase in overspending on these vital services is a direct result of rising demand for services and ideological Conservative cuts from Whitehall, detached from the real impact of their decisions. The next Labour government will provide councils with sustainable funding and create a ring-fenced £500 million fund for Sure Start, so that councils can deliver the services our communities need.”