Letter: Blair's `betrayal'

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Sir: We welcome the Government's commitment to reduce poverty and tackle social and economic exclusion. Regrettably, we note the new Social Exclusion Unit does not include a permanent member who has direct experience of poverty.

Those living in poverty are the true experts on social exclusion.They face barriers to employment, decent wages, basic health care and suitable housing. It is they who will be most affected by the recommendations of this task force.

We believe there must be a broader consultation between the socially excluded and decision-makers. Substantive dialogue, and a commitment by the Government to a national poverty eradication plan, will be more likely to yield solutions to the problems of poverty and exclusion.

EVAN METZ

Co-ordinator

UK Coalition Against Poverty

London SE5

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