On the 21st July 2015 the Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, spoke during the debate on the Budget Statement. The Bishop welcomed the new National Living Wage and asked for greater transitional support for employers and employees, as well as careful attention to phasing in the reduction in tax credits.
“The test of the success of this and future Budgets for a country living within its means will be the growing number of households that are equipped and completely free to earn the means to live.” Bishop of Birmingham 21/07/15
On the 21st July 2015 the Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart, responded to the Budget Statement, during a debate in the House of Lords. The Bishop called for an inclusive capitalism and questioned Lord O’Neill the Commercial Secretary for the Treasury about the impact of the changes to working age benefits. The Bishop also spoke about the need to improve productivity via energising the local economy alongside investing in infrastructure, skills, training and apprenticeships.
On 25th March 2015 the Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke in the debate in the House of Lords on the Budget Statement for 2015-’16. The Bishop raised encouragement of personal saving, the income tax threshold, and future welfare reform, amongst other issues. The text of his speech is below:
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, it is right to acknowledge what is good and encouraging in the economic situation—particularly compared to the background of five years ago—and in much of what the Chancellor announced last week, and I am glad to do so. I warmly welcome the continuing fall in the number of people unemployed and, among the proposals, funding for wi-fi in public libraries, investment in transport infrastructure in the north of England, a boost to charities through the raising of the small donations gift aid limit and the extra allocation for mental health services for children and for new mothers, especially when half of my Bishop’s Lent appeal in Portsmouth diocese is to support local mental health charities. I am pleased, too, to hear of the planned rise in the minimum wage, though longing for the living wage to become the norm. There is much to welcome but, as I have indicated, with some caveats.
During a House of Commons debate on the Budget statement, Rt Hon Canon Sir Tony Baldry MP welcomed the announcement of extra funding for church roof repairs, in his capacity as the Second Church Estates Commissioner:
I should firstly, in my capacity as Second Church Estates Commissioner, and soon to be Chair of the Church Buildings Council, like very sincerely to thank the Chancellor the £40 million announced in the Budget towards the repairs of church roofs. This is in addition to the £15 million for the Church Roof Funds made available by the Chancellor a little while ago and £20 million made available for repairs to our cathedrals. Continue reading “Welcome for Budget announcement on extra funds for church roof repairs”
“If we do nothing, we will see the gap between London and the regions continue to widen to the detriment of the whole country. I urge the Government and this House to address this problem with imagination, courage and vigour” – Bishop of Sheffield
On 27th March Peers debated the Chancellor’s 2014 Budget statement. The Bishop of Sheffield spoke of the need to rebalance the economy so that the proceeds of renewed economic growth could be shared across the regions. He suggested this could be the task of a cross-party parliamentary commission.
The Lord Bishop of Sheffield: My Lords, the prophet Jeremiah wrote a short but remarkable letter to his contemporaries long ago who had been sent into exile in Babylon. The letter has shaped Jewish and Christian thought on how communities of faith should engage with the wider society down all the generations since. The prophet’s advice is to,
“seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you … for in its welfare you will find your welfare”.
On 27th March Peers debated the Chancellor’s 2014 Budget statement. The Bishop of Chester, Rt Rev Peter Forster, cautioned that if society were to experience renewed growth and prosperity, it should guard against recreating the problems of the past 30 years. He argued for an emphasis on strengthened social institutions, including families, continued commitment to overseas aid, and improved financial education.
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, the reason that the Bishops sit on the government side of the Chamber, I am told, is the recognition that the task of government is so difficult that the Government need all the help available to them. Managing the economy in recent years has been an enormously difficult task and we can only express relief and, indeed, gratitude that things seem to be moving on to a more normal plane despite all the challenges ahead, about which the Chancellor himself is fairly candid. Continue reading “Freedom and Responsibility: Budget speech by the Bishop of Chester”
“There is much to welcome in today’s Budget announcement, not least the news that economic growth is strengthening, the long awaited transferable tax allowance for married couples, and the new funds to help restore the fabric of some our nation’s great cathedrals.
The increasingly confident economic outlook is good news. The crucial challenge will be to ensure that the stewardship of the economy takes into account the need for those at the lower end of the income scale or at the margins of society to share fully in the proceeds of growth.
The reaffirmation by the Chancellor of our country’s commitment to spend 0.7% of our national income on overseas development assistance is an important demonstration of our national commitment to those in the greatest need. Continue reading “Bishop of Birmingham Responds to the Budget”