Bishop of Durham calls for a child poverty commission

On 12th November 2020 a Government statement on supporting disadvantaged families, including measures to address school holiday hunger, was given in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Durham asked a question in response:

The Lord Bishop of Durham [V]: I warmly welcome so much in the Statement and in the decisions made; I also associate myself with those who ask why it did not all happen a bit more quickly. None the less, this has exposed the underlying fundamental structural issues which mean that we are not tackling child poverty in the round and as a whole. What consideration have Her Majesty’s Government given to creating really long-term solutions by forming a child poverty commission, as proposed by faith leaders in their recent letter to the Prime Minister?

Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con): The right reverend Prelate is consistent in the issues that he raises, and I understand that. As for this happening more quickly, as I said, we were piloting and we were in dialogue. We were not sitting around waiting to be kicked into touch. As I have also said before, we have tested to make sure that these things can work. As for the long-term issue of a child poverty commission, I am not aware of any plans, but I will go away and double-check for him. I take this opportunity to thank the Church and all the faith groups who are supporting their communities in such an outstanding way.


Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-Afl) [V]: My Lords, while welcoming the contents of the Statement, I have to say that I agree with the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Durham that there needs to be a child poverty commission. The Statement clearly highlights that there has been such a deficit in welfare and child welfare policy. Will the Minister talk to her Secretary of State to ensure that discussions get under way about an immediate review of welfare policy in light of the pandemic?