Simon Read: Minister shows the way to help the hard-up

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The Independent Online

While struggling folk in England are facing cutbacks on all sides, in Wales they have a Minister who is trying to do something to help.

Huw Davies is Britain's only Poverty Minister and last week he pledged £1.872m extra money to help not-for-profit organisations that offer free advice services.

Organisations such as Citizens Advice, Shelter Cymru and Consumer Focus Wales are expected to lose around £3.36m over the next 18 months with the equivalent of 50 full-time jobs disappearing.

The knock-on effect of Coalition cutbacks will mean less help for vulnerable people, suffering from fewer benefits or the effects of the new bedroom tax.

"I want to make sure people do not fall through the cracks given the changes," Huw said. He hopes advice organisations can use the extra cash to target their services where the need is the greatest.

More power to him. We could do with such practical thinking in the rest of the country.

s.read@independent.co.uk Twitter: @simonnread

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