By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex
Brown tax credit adds up to a cut
Four million families on middle incomes will be worse off under the
measures attached to the £1 billion “increase” to the child
tax credit announced by Gordon Brown in his pre-Budget report, it
was revealed last night.
Experts at the Institute of Fiscal studies discovered that while
two million poor families with children will get up to £180
million a year more, four million middle and other income families
will be £15.25 worse off per year.
The reduction relates to the ‘family element’ part of the tax
credit that will stay at its current level of £545 a year. In
not increasing the sum by the rate of inflation, which is 2.8 per
cent, the Chancellor has reduced its value by £15.25.
Source:- The Daily Mail Friday 12 December page 4
No school ID needed for illegal migrants’ children
Illegal immigrants’ children would still be able to attend
school under home secretary David Blunkett’s identity card scheme,
MPs heard yesterday.
While doctors’ surgeries will have to check children and
adults’ identities before they can get free healthcare,
headteachers will not have to, the Commons Home Affairs Select
Home Office officials refused to disclose details of the cost of
the scheme, but said it was expected to be a figure at the upper
end of the earlier estimates ranging from £1.3 billion to
Source:- The Times Friday 12 December page 2
Baby death ruling hope for mothers
Many mothers, who claim they were wrongly imprisoned for smothering
their babies, have been given new hope that their convictions will
be reviewed after Angela Cannings was freed by the court of
Cannings is the second person to have a murder conviction
overturned in a case in which Professor Roy Meadow was a key
Meadow was criticised for the evidence he gave in the Cannings
murder trial, and now many women are claiming he has unfairly
influenced the decision of judges and juries in cases involving cot
Source:- The Times Friday 12 December page 4
Children of married parents do better in
Children born to unmarried parents are more likely to be less well
off financially, according to a new report.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that married
parents are less likely to claim income support.
The survey, which featured 18,500 babies, also found that married
parents were more likely to own a property and live on at least
£20,000 a year.
John Haskey, from the ONS, said that the findings had far reaching
implications with children born out of wedlock seeming to
experience disadvantage throughout their lives
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 12 December page 13
Retiring Soham jury told to put aside
The jury in the Soham murder trial was expected to retire to
consider its verdict on Friday.
The judge, Mr Justice Moses, told the jury to put their feelings to
one side as they consider the cases against Ian Huntley and Maxine
Huntley claims that Holly Wells died when she fell in his bath and
Jessica Chapman died as he covered her mouth trying to muffle her
He denies murder, and Carr denies charges of perverting the course
of justice and assisting an offender.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 12 December page 1
100,000 to gain from childcare pay
The government said it expected 100,000 families to benefit from
Chancellor Gordon Brown’s £20 million per year package
of child care help for working parents.
Employers can give employees £50 per week in child care tax
free under the measures announced in the pre-Budget report on
Source:- The Guardian Friday 12 December page 11
Lone parents to face fewer barriers to work
New measures to help lone parents will help them to find work, the
In eight areas child care costs will be covered for a week while
the lone parents look for work.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 12 December page 11
Charities bang the drum
Scottish charities have launched a campaign to restore faith in the
sector. Fourteen Scottish charities have united to encourage people
to donate money under the banner “Giving Scotland”. The move
follows high profile scandals involving Breast Cancer Research
Scotland and children’s charity Moonbeams.
Source:- The Scotsman Friday 12 December
Cot deaths double to 10 year high
The number of cot deaths in Scotland has doubled in the
last year, according to figures released yesterday. There has been
53 sudden infant deaths this year – the highest in 10 years. There
were only 28 confirmed cases in Scotland last year.
Source:- The Herald Friday 12 December
Jack bid to tackle perverts
Jack McConnell yesterday vowed to crackdown on men who use the
internet to groom potential victims.
David McLetchie, the Tory leader, challenged the first minister
that Scots law was weaker than in England where a specific offence
of luring child victims through the internet carries a 10 year
sentence. McConnell said the executive was considering penalties
and that they intended to be part of the international crackdown on
internet porn and grooming on the internet.
Source:- Daily Record Friday 12 December
Parent’s horror over jail plans
Concern is mounting over plans for sex offenders to be
rehabilitated at a south Wales open prison.
Residents living near Prescoed open prison in Usk are concerned
over the safety of their children, and Welsh assembly member, David
Davies, is due to discuss the plan with the prison governor next
A spokesperson for the Home Office said that sex offenders have
been in open prisons before to help them rehabilitate. She added
that offenders would never be released into the community unless
they were deemed to be ready.
Source:- South Wales Argus Thursday 11 December page 10