Letter: Silent reaction to poverty

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The Independent Online
Sir: The UK Coalition for the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty welcomes the recognition you give to the initiative to help people experiencing poverty ("Hume praises the courage of Britain's poor", 20 March).

The anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development has come and gone, a summit at which the UK government signed up to producing national poverty eradication plans by the end of this year. Where are these plans in this the UN's Year for the Eradication of Poverty? The British government has been silent.

We have written to Peter Lilley, Secretary of State for Social Security, about this and he has replied by saying, "It is our view that the recommendations in the Programme of Action on the desirability of producing national poverty eradication plans principally relate to the needs of underdeveloped countries"; he then goes on to say that the UK already has "the infrastructure and social protection systems to prevent poverty and maintain living standards".

What hope is there for people experiencing poverty if this is the attitude of the Government?

Mona Patel

Co-ordinator

UK Coalition for the

International Year for the

Eradication of Poverty

London SE5

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