Letter:Opposition to Bill Clinton's welfare reform

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The Independent Online
Sir: John Redwood welcomes the Clinton welfare reform (report, 2 August). Since he has so decided an opinion can he tell us what he believes will happen to the people who will lose welfare benefits as a result of these reforms? If he answers this question can he tell us how he knows? If he does not answer it can he tell us why he believes he is entitled to recommend a major policy change without knowing its consequences?

At present the DSS is not aware of any serious research on what happens to people who have been disentitled to social security benefit. It is irresponsible to recommend any further measures of disentitlement until such research exists.

John Redwood also says that on many points Tony Blair is to the right of him. I make no comment on the general proposition but if he expects Mr Blair to support the Clinton welfare reforms he is surely being unjust to him. He cannot possibly support such proposals while he claims to be "tough on causes of crime".

Earl RUSSELL

House of Lords

London SW1

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