Bishop of Oxford asks about “compassionate conservatism”

On 18th October 2022, the Bishop of Oxford asked a question in response the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt’s, speech on the economy:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I welcome the new Chancellor, many of the measures announced yesterday, and the increased prospect of greater stability. I noticed that in his Statement yesterday he used the phrase “compassionate conservatism” several times. I wonder if the Minister would unpack that phrase a little, particularly on how the Chancellor will navigate to privilege the needs of the very poorest in society, perhaps especially in the outworking of the increase in benefits in line with price inflation, and in looking to see a decrease in the use of foodbanks in the coming years, which has escalated in major ways in the last decade.

Lord True (Con): I welcome the opportunity to follow the right reverend Prelate on that point. As I tried to say in my earlier answers, the position of those in need will be at the forefront of the Government’s consideration. We know that people across the United Kingdom are worried about the cost of living; that is why the Government have announced £37 billion of support for the cost of living this financial year. In addition, the energy price guarantee and energy bill relief scheme are supporting households and businesses. We are also supporting millions of the most vulnerable households with £1,200 of on-off support. So far as specific decisions on benefits are concerned, they will have to wait for my right honourable friend’s Statement.


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