Cameron: Sure Start budget “going up”; the reality? Sure Start is under threat

The prime minister insisted the Sure Start budget was "going up" from £2.2m to £2.3m at PMQs today - yet it is the Early Intervention Grant that is increasing.

Ed Miliband accused David Cameron of cutting funding to Sure Start by 9 per cent at Prime Minister’s Questions today, citing research from the Daycare Trust which warned 250 Sure Start centres face the axe; however, the prime minister insisted the Sure Start budget was “going up” from £2,212 million to £2,297m, saying:

“We have maintained the money for sure start. We have maintained the money for children’s centres… The budget is going up.”

And yet it is not the Sure Start budget that is being protected – it is the Early Intervention Grant (EIG) which is increasing from £2.2 billion in 2011-12 to £2.3 bn in 2012-3.

The EIG is provided to councils to pay for Sure Start, but it is the pot of money from which councils also pay for the careers advice service Connexions; disabled children’s short breaks; the youth opportunity fund that supports community projects; and several other programmes.

The total expenditure that would have been allocacted to these programmes in 2010-11 had the EIG not been created was £2.5 bn. As the Department for Education explains:

“In 2011-12, the overall amount to be allocated through the EIG is 10.9% lower than the aggregated funding that makes up the notional baseline in 2010-11. In 2012-13 it is 7.5 per cent below 2010-11.”

Sure Start may indeed see spending rises – if councils decide to cut so deep elsehwere in EIG programmes as to be able to make up the reduction required overall. But if Sure Start faces an equal fate to those programmes it is now competing against, it will face 11% cuts in 2011-12. Either way, the prime minister’s robust statement in the house, that Sure Start spending is rising, is a misleading description of reality at best.

47 Responses to “Cameron: Sure Start budget “going up”; the reality? Sure Start is under threat”

  1. CAROLE JONES

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  2. Claire Phipps

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; the reality? Sure Start is under threat //bit.ly/i28pzq

  3. 10 O'Clock Live

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  4. Miles Weaver

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  5. Suzanne Newman

    RT @Claire_Phipps: RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; the reality? Sure Start is under threat //bit.ly/i28pzq

  6. George Eaton

    RT @leftfootfwd Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  7. Will Straw

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  8. jennifer roberts

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  9. Glen Porritt

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  10. christy

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  11. Niall Houten

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  12. Kathrine Stokes

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  13. Daniel Pitt

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  14. Nicola Smith

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  15. lesa

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  16. Sarah Brown

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  17. Family Action

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  18. family action

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  19. twitdefibulator

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  20. Will Straw

    @BBCLauraK It was @leftfootfwd who got their first on Sure Start cuts //bit.ly/i28pzq

  21. Charl

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; The reality? It's under threat: //bit.ly/gset2r reports @DanielElton #PMQs

  22. LondonStatto

    So an amount higher than last year but lower than a notional figure for this year is a “cut”?

    What nonsense you speak.

  23. PMQs: Prime Minister's (selective) Quotations | Left Foot Forward

    […] today, mocked by Ed Miliband over the ‘Big Society’, found wanting on Sure Start (as broken by Left Foot Forward earlier this afternoon), and now shown to have selectively quoted John Healey […]

  24. Chris D

    Billy Bragg has referred to socialism as ‘organised compassion’. If that’s the case then Conservatism must surely be defined as selfish egotism. Time to call it a day Cameron and take your little u-turning back-stabber with you. Lets get back to what really matters community, respect and some awareness of the world and people around us. Lets send a message in May with the ballot box.

  25. Mr. Sensible

    They said this with schools and the NHS, and both have turned out to be incorrect.

    So why should we be surprised?

  26. shavedorspiked

    @LondonStatto
    The evidence is not that the funding for SureStart is “an amount higher”, he was talking about a completely different thing (the EIG). To make it worse the number getting bigger did not exist last year (because the EIG did not exist). How can something that does not exist get bigger??

    The only possible way to compare last year and this year is to look at aggregated funding and that has fallen by 10.9%!!

    Cameron is a lying toad.

  27. Anon E Mouse

    What a useless article. Is the figure going up or not?

    Save Our Surestart hahahahaha

  28. scandalousbill

    Anon,

    Perhaps this statement from the 4children website will clarify matters”

    “The charities are calling on Local Authorities to prioritise funding for Sure Start Children’s Centres – whose budget was protected in cash terms in the Government’s Spending Review, though the ring-fencing of the money was removed.

    The national survey suggests that over the next 12 months:

    250 (7%) will close or are expected to close, affecting an estimated 60,000 families
    2,000 (56%) will provide a reduced service
    3,100 (86%) will have a decreased budge
    Staff at 1,000 centres (28%) have been issued with ‘at risk of redundancy’ notices

    //www.4children.org.uk/information/show/ref/2302

    While the EIG rose marginally from 2.2 to2.3 billion, (in the context of present inflation levels hardly and increase) the constraints from the multiplicity of services supported by the EIG will most likely face a pretty significant cut in operational terms. Given that the impact of these cuts will affect working class families the most, and in consideration of your previous posts in which you claim a strong affinity and membership within the working class, particularly NMW earners, I really don’t see what it is you are laughing at.

  29. Anon E Mouse

    scandalousbill – You really don’t see why I’m laughing do you?

    This article is about the Surestart budget not “going up”. IT IS.

    It maybe under threat in the future – what isn’t? – but to keep constantly publishing speculative articles like this one shows how totally useless Labour are. Where’s the “Double Dip” recession? The only reason they seem to be doing well is because of the total ineptitude of the government.

    You have tuition fees that will be better for students and they screw that announcement up. The banks are paying more in taxes and they screw that up.

    The government need Alistar Campbell.

    People are even blaming the government for decisions that are being taken by local councils and it is going to backfire on the Labour Party I guarantee.

    I always go back to Kinnock and his speech against Deggsy and Co because that’s coming back and I’m afraid that with the clear limited ability of Ed Miliband the whole thing is going to be a bag of spanners.

    I laugh because it’s pathetic.

    I was initially brought up on the council estate in Hattersley, (my grandad was a Labour councillor in Manchester and my parents jumped the housing list) got 2 o’levels first time round, 4 in total, then a City & Guilds followed by an HND in the Royal Navy.

    My working class credentials are flawless. Yours?

  30. scandalousbill

    Anon,

    You say:

    “This article is about the Surestart budget not “going up”. IT IS.”

    In addition to the reference from 4children in my previous post, you can look at Cathy Newman’s fact check. In realistic terms, it is not.

    //blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-is-cameron-sure-about-that-sure-start-budget/5682

    The risk of a double dip recession is still present, Tory coalition policies have made the UK more susceptible to Global economic fluctuation and inflation. A rise in interest rates will kill off anything that could be beneficial from the Merlin Project. I think a flat lined growth period is most likely and that it will last beyond the next parliament. Any recovery will be jobless in nature.

    As for my background, I was a Steelworker who educated myself to graduate level and currently run my own IT business. As I was not destitute, I was not eligible for any funding. I disagree that students will get a better deal from government policies. A token concern for the lowest income level student does not justify 9K fees. Those in work who wish to advance themselves, as I did, through education, will face a formidable economic barrier.

  31. Anon E Mouse

    scandalousbill –

    1. There are no upfront tuition fees. That must surely be better?
    2. No one from a poorer background will pay the £9k.
    3. Payment is only after graduation.
    4. The minimum wage to start payment is up to £21k – some students will never pay.

    Why should the dustman or steelworker pay to educate some lazy student in Media Studies or pay for classes for David Gilmour’s son? It isn’t fair.

    What these things indicate is a bigger problem for the government in that they cannot get their PR right. It’s not the policies. HIP’s, Runway 3, Control Orders, 92 Days blah blah are all better.

    What people on this blog do is attempt to advance the very same policies that have just been rejected by the electorate and four years from now they will all be forgotten.

    As each day passes Labour looks more and more irrelevant.

    It’s over until the party once again becomes one of aspiration and ditches the unelectable Ed Miliband. For sure the scaremongering from Labour is just being totally ignored by a public keener to read about Peter Andre and Jordan.

    Until Labour gets another Tony Blair they can keep sniping and being negative but never again will the frowning Yvette Cooper be taken seriously – she tried it again on Sunday about police numbers. What she said wasn’t true and even if it was no one is listening…

  32. scandalousbill

    Anon,

    A debt is a debt, whether its frontloaded or backfilled. I do not feel that the statement you made in bullet 2. “No one from a poorer background will pay the £9k” is exactly true. The National scholarship program provides a one year funding of at least £3000, but this is only a one year payment, not a reoccurring stipend.
    //www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/higher-education/docs/n/11-730-national-scholarship-programme-year-one

    However, perhaps other funding measures will take up the slack, there is not much detail on that

    //www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/higher-education/docs/g/11-728-guidance-to-director-fair-access

    Why should you or I pay for another person’s education if they or their parents have money? Why should I pay for Surestart when my children have grown up? Why should I pay for roads if I do not drive a car? Why should I pay for the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan or Trident if I am a pacifist? Why can’t Lizzie or Charlie pay for Willies wedding?….

    It seems to me that all of the above have a social value that goes above our individual opinions, although we may collectively change them. I believe that Surestart has been shown by independent assessments to be of significant benefit and should be supported

    As for your comments of Blair or Brown or Milliband or Clegg or Cameron, none are paragons of virtue, all are politicians and expression of opinion on their capability is simply part of an ongoing discourse which this blog among others promotes.

  33. Anon E Mouse

    scandalousbil – It’s clear we won’t agree although I fully concur with your last paragraph.

    We clearly differ on the size of the state. I want the smallest state possible and politicians to just get out of my life and to do that one has to pay for personally beneficial services themselves.

    Or where does it end? The Royal Family should pay for their kids wedding and after thirteen years in office Labour should have done something about it. As a republican I expected that. Which brings me neatly to agreeing once again with your final paragraph.

    As for Surestart just wait and see what happens. I remember Maggie Thatcher claiming she was cutting the state and did nothing of the sort…

    (PS. “none are paragons of virtue” should read “none is a paragon of virtue”. I did actually pass English Lang and Lit first time round…)

  34. Another broken Tory promise: 31 Sure Start centres have already closed | Left Foot Forward

    […] in March this year, he told PMQs: “We have maintained the money for sure start. We have maintained the money for […]

  35. Shamik Das

    @alexhern @trouse11 Sure Start – that cd b the headline story. //t.co/RbF5zshg //t.co/3pEmVzle //t.co/yhDmQJiR

  36. Teflon Teather dodges the key question about Sure Start | Left Foot Forward

    […] has stepped back from David Cameron’s claims in February the Sure Start budget had been increased: “We have maintained the money for Sure Start. We have maintained the money for children’s […]

  37. Peter

    Clegg in Commons says that SureStart budget has been protected, but its utter rubbish – see the evidence: //t.co/qjAgROym

  38. Oliver Ryan

    Clegg in Commons says that SureStart budget has been protected, but its utter rubbish – see the evidence: //t.co/qjAgROym

  39. PaulLeedsConf

    Clegg in Commons says that SureStart budget has been protected, but its utter rubbish – see the evidence: //t.co/qjAgROym

  40. Lins Noir

    Clegg in Commons says that SureStart budget has been protected, but its utter rubbish – see the evidence: //t.co/qjAgROym

  41. Lynn Sheridan

    Clegg in Commons says that SureStart budget has been protected, but its utter rubbish – see the evidence: //t.co/qjAgROym

  42. DianeLaw

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; the reality? Sure Start is under threat //t.co/R1GY9CfJ

  43. Alan Fry

    Clegg in Commons says that SureStart budget has been protected, but its utter rubbish – see the evidence: //t.co/qjAgROym

  44. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron: Sure Start budget "going up"; the reality? Sure Start is under threat //t.co/wRBknH9w

  45. PCS North Staffs

    Clegg in Commons says that SureStart budget has been protected, but its utter rubbish – see the evidence: //t.co/qjAgROym

  46. Redbaz1

    Clegg in Commons says that SureStart budget has been protected, but its utter rubbish – see the evidence: //t.co/qjAgROym

  47. golightmyway

    Clegg in Commons says that SureStart budget has been protected, but its utter rubbish – see the evidence: //t.co/qjAgROym

Leave a Reply