New figures reveal £200m of youth service cuts
- Published on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 11:49
- Posted by Scott Buckler
UNISON today reveals that a massive £200 million worth of cuts will have been made to youth services by April 2012 - hitting our young people and damaging chances of getting the economy back on track
£137 million worth of cuts are set to hit vital youth services between April 2011/12. The figure comes on top of the £61.6 million** worth of cuts already made in the year to April 2011.
The damage to vital services is worse than predicted, as services are cut completely in some areas. The level of cutbacks outweigh figures by the Confederation of Heads of Young People’s, in February, that cuts of more than £100m were planned by March 2012.
Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:
“Our figures show the real devastation being wrecked on young people’s services across the UK by the Government’s cuts - much higher than predicted. £137 million worth of cutbacks this year alone will cause major damage to the future generation, as well as damaging chances of getting the economy back on track.
“Youth services are being seen as a soft target, with councils making huge cuts, or removing whole services. This includes the loss of projects for rural communities, young mums, young carers, counselling and anti-social behaviour prevention. These challenges are especially hitting young people from low income families.
“The Government is failing young people - they should lay down clear statutory responsibility to councils to make sure they provide vital youth services. Cutting the help and support that young people need to give them a secure and productive future is a false economy. A young person in the criminal justice system costs the taxpayer more than £200,000 by the age of 16, but one who is given support to stay out, costs less than £50,000.
“Youth work should be available to all young people, without it young people can fall through the net and join a lost generation struggling to get work, or an education. Instead of short-term thinking, we need an action plan which includes urgent investment in youth services. The Government must take responsibility and help to tackle the challenges young people in the UK face, including youth unemployment and the rising cost of further and higher education.”