Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Budget ‘could hit children worst’

Children's Commissioner Patricia Lewsley says young people have been left invisible by the draft budget

Children's services could be hardest hit by Northern Ireland's draft Budget, the Children's Commissioner has warned.

Young people have been left invisible by the four-year spending plan, Patricia Lewsley said.

She said children's services in health, social care, education and in the community were already under-funded.

“The Budget needs to be re-written to clearly show where resources are being allocated to meet children's rights and best interests,” she said. Ms Lewsley briefed members of the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister's scrutiny committee at Stormont yesterday and said she looked forward to the forthcoming review of all arm’s-length bodies.

The Budget for the next four years is intended to save around £4bn.

Chancellor George Osborne ordered Stormont to cut spending in Northern Ireland as part of the spending review announced on October 20.

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