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MILLENNIUM BUG THREAT TO EDUCATION SERVICES

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Education and health services could grind to a financial halt and benefits payments systems could collapse as a res...
Education and health services could grind to a financial halt and benefits payments systems could collapse as a result of the millennium bug Tony Blair was told yesterday.

Millions of people could suffer because of the government's failure to solve the problem, an alliance of senior British, American and Canadian business executives and academics warned.

The Guardian reports (p3) that president Bill Clinton and Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien were told along with Mr Blair that time is running out and that funds set aside to deal with the threat to software systems controlling public services are grossly inadequate.

In a statement issued by the British-North American Committee, the corporate and academic leaders said, 'If the year 2000 finds governments inadequately prepared, the bug's impact will extend well beyond their own operations.'

'Pensions or income support payments and reimbursements for key services such as health and education may be disrupted,' it said.

The statement also warned that breakdowns in revenue collection and debt management might trigger financial chaos, threatening institutional stability and household savings.

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