Children in Northern Ireland ‘at risk’ by service cuts

Children in Northern Ireland will be put at risk because of cuts
to services outlined in the government’s draft budget, the
Northern Ireland commissioner for children has warned,
writes Maria Ahmed.

Nigel Williams said he was concerned that the proposed draft and
priorities budget for Northern Ireland for 2005-8 would have a
“detrimental” effect on children’s services.

Giving his response to the budget consultation, Williams
criticised the proposed ending of the Children’s Fund within
three years, saying it would put projects for children in need at

He said: “These projects are targeted largely where
poverty is blighting the lives and future potential of children and
young people.”

The commissioner also called for specific funding to implement
the government’s draft Children and Young People Strategy and
the draft Youth Work Strategy.


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