It is Ministers who are crossing their fingers and hoping for the best, not me. By making that comment, the Secretary of State has admitted that the early intervention grant is not big enough for the sum of its parts and that all 22 funding streams that feed into it cannot all be met. He has made that admission on the Floor of the House, and I am sure that Opposition colleagues are grateful for it.
— from debate entitled “Sure Start Children’s Centres”
The three speeches/headings immediately before
- 1 earlier: Michael Gove
The hon. Lady was kind enough to mention earlier that by her own calculation ring-fencing Sure Start within the current early intervention grant envelope would mean that other services would have to go. How will she protect those other services? Will she raise taxes, cut spending elsewhere or, as she said earlier, simply cross her fingers and hope for the best?
- 2 earlier: Sharon Hodgson
As I am sure the Secretary of State is aware, I am not shadow Chancellor; my right hon. Friend the Member for Morley and Outwood (Ed Balls) is. I will not be tempted to go outside my remit—[ Interruption. ] All I have said is that I would ring-fence
the Sure Start element within the early intervention budget, as the leader of the Opposition said today. We have heard the Secretary of State say so many times that he has given councils enough money to maintain their current network of children’s centres—that comes from a direct quote—so if they have enough money within the early intervention grant, why should we be afraid to ring-fence the Sure Start element in it? It is not a spending commitment.
- 3 earlier: Michael Gove
The hon. Lady says that she would ring-fence funding for Sure Start but has not made it clear that she would increase the early intervention grant. The right hon. Member for Morley and Outwood (Ed Balls) has recently proposed a tax cut by not going ahead with the VAT increase on fuel. If she would ring-fence Sure Start and cut taxes on fuel at the same time, where would the money come from to support the other important services that she was generous enough to list earlier?
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