- £15 billion spent on services to deal with consequences of child poverty
- £3.5 billion lost in tax receipts from people earning less as a result of having grown up in poverty
- £2 billion spent on benefits for people spending more time out of work as a result of having grown up in poverty
- £8.5 billion lost to individuals in net earnings (after paying tax).
It’s a serious challenge that requires an urgent response. So what do we get? Instead of confronting the problem, the government, in possibly its most reckless move yet, is today reported to be
‘planning to allow outsourcing firms to bid for contracts to manage social services for vulnerable children in England – while dropping laws allowing the removal of companies that fail to do the job properly.’
This is truly scary and desperately irresponsible. No matter that the evidence is overwhelming in showing that privatisation costs more and leads to a decline in quality and values (think Serco, G4S, A4E, the railway so-called-service-providers, the utility companies…). There are reasons why we have public services, but the rationale is probably a bit too complex for people educated in public schools.