The Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday announced plans to reduce the nation’s budget deficit aimed at ensuring confidence in the country’s economy, against a backdrop of soaring inflation, rising interest rates and poor growth.

Included were announcements on tax thresholds and freezes, increases in some benefits in line with inflation, and a reduction in the support for energy price increases from next year. Whilst government Departments have been instructed to make efficiency savings, the Department for Education saw £2.3bn added to its budget for schools in each of the next two years. This came alongside a £3.2bn uplift for children and adult’s social care to 2024. However, sector leaders have responded that this will be nowhere near enough to plug the gap facing local authorities for children’s social care, particularly if we are to see the radical reform called for in the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care published this summer. Education leaders have also criticised the government for overlooking support for vital early years or post-16, with some questioning how far the extra school funding will stretch once rising costs are accounted for.

Adoptive families, already facing multiple pressures, may find little reassurance in government claims their plan will bring stability and growth. Adoption UK have heard of the increased anxiety felt by adopted people and adopters worried about the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis. Planned tax rises and next year’s cuts to support for soaring energy bills will likely make this worse. Adopters also report having to reconsider the amount of adoption leave they will take in order to make ends meet and are already having to cut back on spending - including on support services for their child where this isn’t provided for by local authorities.