Letter: Blair's `betrayal'

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The Independent Online
Sir: Poverty is one of the contributing factors to childhood behavioural disorders and their progression to later delinquency. One of New Labour's key policy areas is to be "tough on the causes of crime".

John Pearce, Professor of Child Psychiatry at Nottingham University, argued at his inaugural address that if the previous government had been serious in its wish to do something about such childhood problems it would start by doubling child benefits. From my experience working in the NHS child psychiatry services I would agree.

Every pounds 1 spent on helping childhood behavioural problems has been estimated to save pounds 75 to pounds 100 in later costs to society.

ALEXANDER B SETON-BROWNE

Consultant Child Psychiatrist

Caerleon, Gwent

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