The Archbishop of York asked a question about benefits rising with inflation on 19th October 2022, during a debate following a statement on the economy:
The Lord Archbishop of York: My Lords, I do not pretend to know the ins and outs of exactly where we find ourselves but I serve communities in the north. I think particularly of people I have met recently in Middlesbrough and Hull, where there were great hopes for levelling up. It now seems a distant dream. I recently visited a school where children go in the morning with an empty lunch box for them to fill up with food from the food bank in the playground at the end of the day. The budget for school meals has gone up by 2% yet food inflation has gone up by more than 10%. We need to make tough decisions—I am glad to hear that the triple lock will remain in place—but, on behalf of the communities where I serve, I must ask this: will benefits rise in line with inflation? If not, millions of people will be moved into poverty. Those who recently donated to food banks are now visiting them themselves.
Lord True (Con): My Lords, I reiterate that the purpose of the Government is certainly to help those who are vulnerable and those living in some anxiety at the moment. That is one of the reasons why we are looking at ways of concentrating the energy help on the most vulnerable as we go forward, after dealing with the immediate crisis. I assure the most reverend Primate that the levelling-up programme will continue. Many of the growth measures that were announced will also continue. I hope that if local authorities in his area wish, for example, to set up investment zones to attract jobs and investment in the way that the Government would like to see, then he will, with his great leadership role in the community, give support to such propositions.