Tuesday 8 April 2003

By Amy Taylor, Nicola Barry and Alex

Child tax change ‘will hit thousands’

The Conservatives claim that thousands of families will miss out
because the new child tax credit is based on the joint incomes of
couples rather than individual earnings.

David Willetts, Tory work and pensions spokesperson, said the
Chancellor had introduced another “stealth tax” by changing the way
the benefit is determined.

The benefit was previously paid to the main earner through a
reduction in income tax liability.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 8 April page

Cannabis ’causes mental illness’

Two leading drugs experts yesterday said that serious mental
health problems among the young are being caused by a significant
increase in cannabis smoking.

They said that cannabis was “far more dangerous” on the mind
than cigarettes while having the same level of effect on the

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 8 April page

Asylum seekers routinely mistreated, says prison

The chief inspector of prisons, Anne Owers, said that asylum
seekers receive little help for mental health problems, are subject
to routine strip searches, and are exploited by legal advisers.

Inspectors found that all detainees at Haslar, the removal
centre run by the Prison Service at Gosport, Hampshire, are
strip-searched regardless of whether or not they  are suspected of
carrying drugs or weapons. Detainees at Lindholme at Doncaster,
South Yorkshire, another Prison Service-run removal centre, were
also found to be subject to routine strip searches.

Owers published a report on the state of detention centres

Source:- The Independent Tuesday April 8 page 9

Brown’s child trust funds will favour poor

The government is set to contribute hundreds of pounds to a
saving fund for each baby born in Britain in a scheme which will be
announced in the Budget tomorrow.

The Chancellor is set to launch new measures under which the
government will top up the trust fund when the child reaches five,
11 and 16.

When the child is 18 they can withdraw the money or roll it out
into another savings fund.

Source:- The Independent Tuesday April 8 page 10

Blunkett is forced to tear up plans for asylum

Fierce protests from residents have lead to David Blunkett, the
home secretary, scrapping his plans to turn country houses into
centres for asylum seekers

The home office said yesterday that it will cancel the contract
that it has already signed to change a three-star property in Kent
into an induction centre for refugees.

A similar scheme for a hotel near Brighton has also been

Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday April 8 page 20

Scottish newspapers

First Minister begs electorate to help him win

First minister Jack McConnell yesterday begged Scotland’s
voters to forget the failures of devolution and give Labour four
more years in power.

Launching the Party’s election manifesto in Glasgow, he
said he wanted to earn the people’s respect and crackdown on
teenage yobs, failing schools and sub-standard hospitals.

Labour’s plans include locking up parents who fail to
control their unruly children, and imposing curfews on under-16s
who cause trouble.

Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday 8 April page 30

Call for new approach to child witnesses

A system in South Africa involving intermediaries who put
children at ease and help them give evidence in court should be
considered for Scotland, according to the Scottish Child Law
Centre, based in Glasgow.

Convener Alison Cleland said she is disappointed that
‘Child Witness Support’, a Scottish executive
consultation document, does not discuss the use of intermediaries
who can ‘translate’ questions, putting them into
language children understand.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 8 April page 8

Welsh newspapers

Champion for the elderly promised

The Welsh Labour party will today unveil a new set of election
promises in the run-up to the forthcoming assembly election.

The manifesto includes a commissioner for older people with a
similar brief to that of the children’s commissioner and
initiatives aimed at tackling delays in accessing health care.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 8 April page 7

Public risk health by buying online

Consumers are risking their health by buying non-prescription
and complementary medicines online, according to new research.

In the first study of its kind, Australian researchers have
concluded that surfing and self-medicating are not safe and that
consumers are not able to make informed choices about the safe use
of the medicines they are buying.

The research is published in the journal, ‘Quality and
Safety in Medical Care’.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 8 April page 7

Our ailing NHS means Wales suffers

A half-page feature looking at some of the issues currently
facing the NHS in Wales in the run-up to the Welsh assembly
elections next month.

The story focuses on the pressure on beds in Welsh hospitals and
the need for innovative solutions to cut waiting lists.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 8 April page 12

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