Charities appeal for independent body to measure poverty

A group of 66 charities led by the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust is urging the Government to move responsibility for measuring poverty levels from the Department for Work and Pensions to an independent minimum-standards commission.

Barnardo's chief executive Roger Singleton and his counterpart from The Children's Society, Bob Reitemeier, were among those who gathered in Westminster last Wednesday to challenge the way the Government estimates minimum income standards.

Earlier in the day, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Andrew Smith, defended his department's policies before a Parliamentary select committee looking into child poverty.

The campaigners presented Prime Minister Tony Blair with a dossier outlining their case.

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