Children’s Commissioner for England report: Public Spending on Children in England 2016 – 2020

Even after the inclusion of state benefits, families with children face higher levels of poverty than other demographic groups.

The Children’s Commissioner for England and IFS have published a June 2018 report which measures total public spending on children, including benefits, education spending, services for vulnerable children and healthcare.

The report finds:

  • Since 2009–10, there has been a drop in total spending on children, reflecting overall falls in public spending. Total spending per child between 2009–10 and 2019–20 is expected to have fallen by about 12%, reversing some, but not all, of the rapid rise over the 2000s.
  • Education spending was largely protected.
  • Benefit spending per child is expected to fall by about 17% over this ten-year period, and children’s services spending by about 20%.

The report recommends that for future research it will be important to understand the long-term consequences on children’s outcomes of the
reductions in spending seen over recent years.

Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England said:

I hope this analysis will now help to move the debate on from one simply about the headline amount we spend on children, and to a debate about how we spend it.

Read the report in full (pdf).