UK Politics

Labour Party: Impact of Cameron’s failure to protect Sure Start will be felt for generations - Andy Burnham

News   •   Feb 11, 2011 10:30 GMT

The day after the Prime Minister confused his numbers and incorrectly claimed that the Government is spending more on Sure Start, new figures show the cuts are even deeper than previously thought and that poorest boroughs are worst hit.

Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“The Prime Minister got his facts very wrong yesterday and should set the record straight. He made a personal promise to protect and build on Sure Start. Now we know that these were just hollow words and yet another broken promise to the families of our country.

“The scale and distribution of cuts revealed by today’s figures is not only unfair, it’s the wrong long-term decision for the country. Of course all services need to look to be more efficient, but by cutting too far too fast, and asking children and families to bear the brunt, this Tory-led Government is showing that they have no idea what pressure ordinary families are under.

“Early Intervention services like Sure Start Children’s Centres work with families to improve health, education and life chances. These services will be lost for years and this country will pay the price in terms of unfulfilled potential, poorer economic growth and halting social mobility for generations.”

Sharon Hodgson MP, Labour's Shadow Children and Families Minister, added:

“Young children and families, particularly young mothers, are being severely punished because of the short-sighted choices being made by this Tory-led Government, and to add insult to injury they are also being led to believe that budgets are actually being increased. Once again, the rhetoric does not match the reality being faced by millions of parents and Sure Start staff across the country.

“David Cameron needs to apologise to those mothers, fathers and workers he attempted to deceive from the Despatch Box yesterday, and make sure his Education Secretary gives councils the money and support they need to keep the highly-valued Sure Start network going.”