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U-turns

Sure Start budget

  • David Cameron claims that Sure Start spending is going up, 9 February 2011
  • Department for Communities and Local Government Early Intervention Grant technical note, pdf
  • Cameron spins Sure Start spending ‘increases’ – Left Foot Forward, 9 February 2011

David Cameron insisted to the House of Commons in February 2011 that spending for Sure Start spending was increasing:

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

However, Sure Start sectors funding was deeply threatened by the Coalition and Sure Start centres have faced big cuts.

This is because, although previously local authorities were provided with a Sure Start grant until 2010, the new government consolidated this with other funding streams following the general election , under the Early Intervention Grant.

As Left Foot Forward reported at the time:

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.”

Cameron’s claim that the Sure Start budget was going up was based on the Early Intervention Grant increasing from £2.2 billion in 2011-12 to £2.3 bn in 2012-3 – still below the £2.5 billion.

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