LETTER: Leaders should hang heads in shame over poverty figures

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FIGURES published recently about poverty levels in the North-West have had a lot of coverage in the Press. They mainly concern child poverty, and all make for bad reading as Burnley is rated fourth in the regional table, with 29% child poverty. Liverpool is top, a little way ahead on 33%.

Despite this, what do we hear from our Lib/Dem MP and his cronies on the council? Not a whisper. They should hang their heads in shame, because if anything shames a town more than child poverty I, for one, would like to know about it.

Mind you, it is not as if they have not been warned. What can we expect when the Coalition Government, enthusiastically backed by our Lib/Dem MP, makes drastic cuts of such magnitude.

In Burnley, 11,000 families have had a reduction in their family credit and a further 1,500 families have seen their child care payments reduced. This stands side by side with rises in fuel costs and gas and electricity charges going through the roof.

And then we have Gordon Birtwistle’s favourite tax hike, yes folks, VAT. He campaigned strongly for this measure and every job lost in any given family means that entire family will be financially affected.

There are, of course, other considerations to be taken into account, for example, we are also faced with the threat to Sure Start centres.

People in Burnley deserve better than they are getting. There should be much better use of public money rather than squandering millions on projects such as knocking down the Derby pub and houses in Melrose Avenue. There have been arguments over schools that were never followed up, pipe dreams have cost countless amounts of our cash, buildings have been sold off too cheaply and contractors paid to put forward planning applications.

KEITH ROYLE

BURNLEY