Kate has criticised the government for spending money on new selective and ‘free’ schools following the budget announcement this week.
The Chancellor announced he will spend £320 million on new free schools, increasing to £655 million in 2021-22, but only £216 million on all other schools combined.
This small amount of funding promised to existing schools only extends to the next three years with no additional funding in the long term.
Trafford schools already face losing £443 per pupil according to teaching unions. But instead of helping all schools facing rising costs and growing pupil numbers, the chancellor is forking out a further £20 million for children’s transport to selective schools.
Trafford parents have been campaigning against cuts to transport for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN). Last year, there were protests outside Trafford town Hall against the cuts, while Trafford Labour group councillors raised the issue on behalf of the affected families.
The Chancellor’s Spring Budget also outlines heavy cuts for local government – with the local government department seeing its budget drop from £8.2bn last year to £5.5bn next year. This leaves a huge gap for local services like refuse collection, road maintenance, and care for elderly and disabled people.
Contrary to what the Tories promised in their manifesto, self-employed people will also face a rise in national insurance, meaning self-employed earners will pay an additional £2billion.
Kate said: “I support extra funding for schools, but it’s completely unacceptable that the government have chosen to prioritise new selective and free schools.
“Trafford schools face a funding crisis that will leave them losing £443 per pupil by 2019, but instead of helping all schools, the Tories are opening new schools that will serve only a minority of children.
“I’m also concerned that hardworking self-employed people and our fabulous small businesses in Trafford are also set to bear the brunt of the Chancellor's announcements. A self-employed person who takes home £20,000 of profit will be hit by an extra £239 per year because of the increase in national insurance.
“The government says it wants to help ordinary working people. But the reality is that they’ve been hit hard by the Chancellor's budget.”
The Chancellor’s Budget speech can be read, in full, online, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/spring-budget-2017-philip-hammonds-speech.
Policy documents to accompany the Chancellor’s Budget speech can be viewed in full, online, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spring-budget-2017-documents.