Bishop of Durham calls for more joined-up approach to tackling child poverty

durham-230117On 24th January 2017 Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked the Government “why they have abolished the Child Poverty Unit which was sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Education and HM Treasury.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I know the Minister will agree that no child chooses to live in poverty, so when a child is hungry or lives in poor housing, will the Minister and the Government recognise that these are our children, as a society, and that that means we must have good joined-up structures which tackle these issues? Does he also recognise that the abolition of the CPU does not hint at good joined-up structures?

Lord Henley: My Lords, I am very grateful to see the right reverend Prelate; in fact I am very grateful to see quite so many most reverend Primates and right reverend Prelates on this occasion. May I assure the right reverend Prelate that we are committed to tackling poverty? We accept that no child has a choice in this matter, but we also say that we have joined-up government on this matter. We have the Social Mobility Commission secretariat based in the Department for Education, which looks at these issues cross-party. We have a social reform Cabinet Committee, chaired by the Prime Minister, that includes all the other crucial members of the Cabinet. As the right reverend Prelate and the whole House will know, the Prime Minister herself has made clear her commitment to dealing with such matters.