The Spring Budget was a missed opportunity to support all families, no matter their circumstances.

The changes on clawing back child benefit will be welcomed by some families in higher income brackets but does nothing to ease the burden on the majority of families.

Removing the two-child benefit cap, which disproportionately affects low-income families and places a further burden on those already facing financial hardships, would have helped ensure equal support for all children, regardless of family circumstances.

Ahead of the budget we called for an extension of the Household Support Fund, and while this has been extended for six months, it is almost certain that this will need to be extended further as we head into the autumn and winter.

Additionally, the absence of any mention of the Start for Life programme in the budget is disconcerting, leaving its future uncertain.

Finally, the current sentiment is that the budget has become excessively centred on Westminster, with the spending decisions concerning families' everyday lives being made elsewhere.

Questions remain about the fate of local amenities that families depend on. Will the local park be closed and sold off to balance a budget? Will the local library be kept open so they can get their baby’s first books? Is there is a playgroup near them so their toddler can play with other children? Has their local bus been cancelled? This budget contains no answers to these questions.

Across the country families are finding the services they rely on aren’t there for them when they need it, and it is only through ensuring more families can access relational, compassionate support at the earliest moment that no parent or family will feel alone in the critical task of raising children.

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