Tuesday 16 December 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Baby bonds ‘favour children from rich

Children from low income families won’t be helped as much as those
from rich families under the child trust fund scheme planned by the
government, MPs said yesterday.
The Labour-dominated House of Commons treasury committee said in a
new report that rich children would be helped more due to the
option for parents and friends to top up the fund by up to
£1,200 between them a year.
The scheme is open to children born after 1 September 2002 and
involves an initial government contribution of £250, rising to
£500 for poorer children. Ministers will also contribute an as
yet undecided sum when children are seven.
Source:- Financial Times Tuesday 16 December page 3
Blunkett told to shelve refugee child

A group of MPs has warned home secretary David Blunkett that his
“threat” to take the children of failed asylum seekers who refuse
to leave the country into care, could drive some families
The House of Commons home affairs select committee said the policy
could also provide others with an incentive to “go illegal” while
abandoning their children in care.
The MPs urged for the plans to be shelved and for ministers to
concentrate on “a vigorous government policy of swift compulsory
removals” instead.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 16 December page 7
Drugs study finds children aged 11 on heroin and

Children aged 11 are experimenting with crack cocaine and heroin,
according to new research.
A report, produced by the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool
John Moores University, found that at in parts of the Wirral
children form 10 per cent of new clients at drug treatment
In such areas the average age of first users of heroin is 19.8
Other findings show that there are at least 50 children being
treated for drug addiction in clinics in Merseyside and
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 16 December page 6
£16,000 that’s what the average asylum seeker’s family
gets a year in handouts (and it’s all tax-free!)

Asylum seekers’ families get more than £16,000 in tax-free
support while they are waiting for their applications to be
processed, according to government figures.
Immigration minister Beverley Hughes said that the support given to
an average asylum-seeking family was £1,340 a month.
The figure includes the cash benefits and housing but does not
include the cost to the NHS, schools, the Home Office and court
processing asylum claims.
Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday 16 December page 1
Scottish newspapers
Number of people sleeping rough falls – but not by

The number of people sleeping rough in Scotland has fallen by a
third since 2001, although the Scottish executive has failed in its
pledge to eradicate rough sleeping by 2003.
In October 2003, 328 people were reported sleeping on
Scotland’s streets compared to 500 people two years ago. The
research, carried out by George Street Research for the executive,
found a drop of almost 19 per cent in the last six months.
Margaret Curran, communities minister, said the figures showed the
Rough Sleeper’s Initiative was making real progress, although
she admitted that the target set in 1999 to eradicate rough
sleeping was ambitious and had been missed – “but only
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 16 December
Rangers’ greats lead fight against

Scotland’s first anti-racism children’s seminar to help
remove prejudices that separates one from another on the grounds of
race and religion was hosted yesterday by Rangers Football
Backed by anti-racist charity ‘Show Racism The Red
Card’, Rangers invited 100 city pupils to listen to a message
of tolerance by club legends.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 16 December
Anger at Dungavel ‘sop’ on

The government tried last night to head off a row over the
imprisonment of the children of asylum seekers in Dungavel
detention centre in Lanarkshire.
Beverley Hughes, home office minister, announced new measures
requiring ministerial authorisation in the event of a child being
detained for longer than 28 days at the centre.
Last night, opponents reacted angrily to the move claiming it did
not go far enough. Shona Robison, the SNP’s social justice
spokesperson, called for the centre to be closed.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 16 December
Welsh newspapers
Welsh doctor ‘failed to stop organ

The Welsh medical director at the scandal-hit Alder Hey Hospital
took ‘no proper steps’ to stop the widescale practice
of harvesting organ parts from dead children, a professional
conduct hearing has been told.
The General Medical Council was told yesterday that Dr John Martin
knew that parents’ wishes were being ignored and that organs
were being removed without consent, but that he failed to
The hearing was told that Martin had failed in his duty as medical
director of the hospital.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 16 December page 1
Assembly to be given control over problem-hit child
Responsibility for the troubled Children and Family Court
Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) in Wales, is to be
transferred to Cardiff.
Welsh Secretary Peter Hain is expected to confirm today that a
proposal outlined in the Children’s Bill, will end an anomaly
that gives the Welsh assembly power over all child welfare issues,
except those in family court proceedings.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 16 December page 8

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