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Child poverty figures must be prioritised

I agree with the comments of Jonathan Bradshaw when he condemns the UK Government for failing to prioritise the pound;3.8 billion required to keep the 2010 UK child poverty figures on target (TESS November 9).

He rightly points out that money allocated to inheritance tax could have been more effectively allocated to alleviating the plight of children living in poverty. Barnardo's Scotland produced an Index of Wellbeing for Children in Scotland in July 2007, with the same challenging issues for Scottish and UK governments. However, while I understand the "extraordinary low aspirations for work and school", I believe these barriers can be challenged and overcome with the right approaches.

Barnardo's Scotland Youthbuild services focus its energies on assisting disadvantaged young people to overcome social exclusion. We offer them access to real opportunities for independence and sustainable employment, and the results show it works.

The outcomes of these services demonstrate that, through positive partnerships between private, public and voluntary sectors, young people can fulfil their potential, believe in themselves and aspire to a better way of life.

Martin Crewe, director, Barnardo's Scotland.

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