NewsGeneral election: a round-up of asks for the next government

General election: a round-up of asks for the next government

As the General Election looms, several organisations have laid out their expectations for whoever is next to take their post in Number 10.

The RCPCH released their election manifesto last year, with a refresher in March 2024. Their focus is on changing the ‘machinery of government’ that would support better policy making for children and young people.

As part of this manifesto, the RCPCH are asking for a cabinet-level Minister for Children and Young People, a child health in all policies approach, and the development of a cross-departmental Child Health and Wellbeing Strategy. This is to coincide with seven pillars and recommendations:

  1. Prioritise child health services
  2. Support the child health workforce
  3. Harness data
  4. Promote prevention of ill health
  5. Address children’s mental health
  6. Strengthen child protection
  7. Tackle climate change.

Also sharing their election expectations is the NSPCC, who want to put the needs of children ‘front and centre’.

The NSPCC have already ensured changes in the law with the Online Safety Act, and additional policy against grooming and abuse. This election, they are asking the government to further prioritise child health and safety with six main points of change:

  1. Investment in early help services for children and families
  2. Removal of the ‘reasonable punishment’ defence
  3. Support for parents and babies in early years
  4. High-quality, inclusive and age-appropriate RHSE
  5. Further protection for children online
  6. Support for children and young people to recover from abuse.

While the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) have published a letter to both Rishi Sunak and Kier Starmer asking them to prioritise tackling hardship and poverty.

The letter, signed by more than 200 organisations, including Barnardo’s, Macmillan and Mind, says there is a ‘stark lack of focus’ from either candidate on how to address the high levels of hardship in the UK.

‘Just last [May], seven million low-income households were forced to go without essentials like food, adequate clothing and basic toiletries,’ the letter states. ‘Food banks in the Trussell Trust network distributed a record 3.1 million emergency food parcels. Most shockingly of all, almost 4 million people, including 1 million children, experienced destitution in 2022, more than double the rate from five years previously.’

To read the full letter, click here.

Image | Shutterstock


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