UK Justice Policy Review

Spending on youth services drops by 36%

Following a Freedom of Information request, BBC Radio 4 reports that the amount spent by councils on services for young people fell, in real terms, from £1.2bn in 2010-2011, to £791m in 2012-2013. The decision to move responsibility for young people from the Department for Education to the Cabinet Office was a ‘retrograde step’, according to Conservative MP Tim Loughton, who was Children’s Minister up to September 2012.

Fiona Black, Chief Executive of the National Youth Agency, was quoted as saying:

Disabled left waiting up to six months for their benefits

MPs have called for penalties to be invoked against  Atos Healthcare and Capital Business Services for their delays in assessing disabled and sick people's entitlements to Personal Independence Payments (PIPs).

The House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee cited figures showing that 'of the 229,700 claims made up until December 2013 decisions had been made in fewer than 20 per cent of cases'.   The private contractors carry out face-to-face interviews with claimants, which has led to the delays.

Chair of the Committee, Dame Anne Begg, said:

The great criminal justice contracts monopoly

'Government spends £187 billion on goods and services with third parties each year, around half of which is estimated to be on contracted out services'. So claims a report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC), published last week, on the contracting out of public services to the private sector.

'Estimated' is the operative word here, for a cloak of secrecy shrouds government contracts. As the PAC notes in its report:


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