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Sinn Féin welcome response of Children's Commissioner to draft budget

10 December, 2004

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children and Young people, West Belfast MLA Sue Ramsey has welcomed the comments from the Children's Commission Nigel Williams that the draft budget could damage services to children and young people.

Ms Ramsey said:

"Sinn Féin has highlighted similar concerns in our response to the draft budget proposals.

"There is widespread agreement that the draft budget has the potential to cause huge damage to services for children and young people.

"Of greatest concern is the threat to Children's Fund that has been vital in targeting resources to children and young people in greatest need. Given the very high levels of poverty that has been identified among children and Young People this is unacceptable.

"We are about to see a new draft children and young people strategy yet these proposals will fundamentally undermine genuine progress in meeting the needs of young people and tackling child poverty.

"In conjunction with the current cash crisis facing the education and library boards and our health services and the possibility that they will be facing even greater financial shortfalls in the next funding cycle there is the potential for even greater threats to meeting these needs." ENDS

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