Government criticised for not acting on social fund

    A leading children’s charity has accused the government of
    hypocrisy over its pledge to eradicate child poverty.

    The criticism comes from the Child Poverty Action Group in the
    wake of the government’s rejection of the House of Commons social
    security committee’s recommendations on the social fund (News, 16
    August, page 6; 12 April, page 9).

    CPAG director Martin Barnes said: “The government’s refusal to
    accept the committee’s recommendations is surprising, disappointing
    and reeks of hypocrisy. In opposition Labour attacked the social
    fund, in government it ignores the overwhelming evidence that it is
    failing.”

    The committee’s report found the fund undermined child poverty
    reduction strategies and it called for an “urgent overhaul and an
    injection of funds”. But the government rejected the committee’s
    findings in its response published earlier this month.

    Barnes described the government’s refusal to face the facts as
    “breathtaking and contradictory”, claiming that money available for
    grants for essential items, such as shoes, bedding and heaters, was
    now “worth less in real terms than when Labour was elected in
    1997”.

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