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CHANCELLOR PLEDGES EXTRA CASH TO REVIVE POOREST AREAS

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Final negotiations over the comprehensive spending review are underway between spending ministries and the Treasury...
Final negotiations over the comprehensive spending review are underway between spending ministries and the Treasury, reports The Guardian (p12).

The paper predicts that extra resources to raise standards in health, education and crime prevention in Britain's poorest areas are to be provided by the chancellor, Gordon Brown, in a bid to tackle deep-rooted poverty and cut unemployment.

The move is part of a Treasury blueprint under which ministers will get a share of a£40bn boost to public spending in return for greater co-operation across departments to tackle problems in 13 areas. The spending plans will set 'floor targets' for the delivery of key public services in poor parts of the country.

The Treasury's influence on Labour's domestic agenda is increased a result of the changes to be announced next month, with Mr Brown and his team setting targets for cross-departmental initiatives and holding ministers accountable for shared budgets.

The 13 cross-departmental groups are welfare to work, sure start and services for the under fives, young people at risk, support for older people, the criminal justice system, drugs, crime reduction, local government finance, government intervention in deprived areas, rural and countryside programmes, science and research, conflict prevention in sub-Saharan Africa, and nuclear safety in the former Soviet Union.
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