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U.K. Pledges Extra Money to Help Troubled Families

U.K. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announced a 200 million-pound ($310 million) expansion of a program under which government agencies intervene in the lives of troubled families to cut crime and joblessness.

The funding aims to reduce the amount spent overall by the police, social workers, doctors and schools dealing with families whose lives are at risk of “spiraling out of control,” the Treasury in London said in an e-mailed statement today. A one-time average investment of 4,500 pounds in work with each family is expected to reduce the annual 15,000-pound cost of dealing with their problems, it said. The increased spending in the year beginning April 2015 will expand the program to 400,000 households.

“The troubled-families program is a radical example of how, by spending a bit more in certain areas, we can save much more in others and by doing so create a stronger economy and a fairer society,” Alexander, a member of the Liberal Democrats in the coalition government, said today at the Family Recovery Project in Wandsworth, southwest London, according to his office. “Extending this intensive help to 400,000 more families will enable us to tackle problems such as truancy, anti-social behavior and crime.”

The announcement came after Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne reached agreement with his fellow ministers to cut 11.5 billion pounds from spending for the year beginning April 2015. The Liberal Democrats, led by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, are seeking to convince voters in the run-up to the 2015 general election that they are acting as a socially liberal brake on spending reductions by Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives.

Osborne will set out details of his spending cuts in a statement in Parliament on June 26.

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