Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Portsmouth welcomes child poverty proposals and presses Government on two-child limit

On 29th February 2016, the House of Lords considered changes made in the House of Commons to the Government’s Welfare and Work Reform Bill. Earlier, MPs had voted to reject an amendment to the Bill tabled by the Bishop of Durham and passed by the House of Lords, which made it a duty of the Secretary of State to report annually on income measures of child poverty. In its place Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, tabled an alternative Government amendment in the Lords, to require government to annually publish the child poverty income measures, without requiring a report to be laid before Parliament. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, and the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, both welcomed this concession by Government. Lord Freud’s speech introducing that amendment can be seen here. The Bishop of Durham’s response can be seen here.The Bishop of Portsmouth’s response is below, in which he also pressed the Minister on points he had made at earlier stages about the two-child limit and impact on those who are bereaved or fleeing domestic violence. 

BishPortsspeechtaxcreditsThe Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, I, too, am grateful for the Government’s decision to publish under obligation the three HBAI low-income measures, along with the further measure of children in persistent poverty. In welcoming this response to the clear wish of the House, I will not detain the House with my commentary on the tortuous routes to this wise and welcome decision, tempting though that is; we are in Lent and bidden not to succumb to temptation. As we have so powerfully and carefully considered in this House the plight particularly of children in poverty, I recall that the Minister said that he expected the Government to come under further pressure—I paraphrase—and I do not want to disappoint him. Continue reading “Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Portsmouth welcomes child poverty proposals and presses Government on two-child limit”

Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Durham welcomes commitment to publish child poverty data

On 29th February 2016, the House of Lords considered changes made in the House of Commons to the Government’s Welfare and Work Reform Bill. Earlier, MPs had voted to reject an amendment to the Bill tabled by the Bishop of Durham and passed by the House of Lords, which made it a duty of the Secretary of State to report annually on income measures of child poverty. In its place Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, tabled an alternative Government amendment in the Lords, to require government to annually publish the child poverty income measures, without requiring a report to be laid before Parliament. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, and the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, both welcomed this concession by Government. Lord Freud’s speech introducing that amendment can be seen here. The Bishop of Durham’s response is below. The Bishop of Portsmouth’s response can be seen here.

Bp Durham June 2015 bThe Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, throughout our debates on the Bill, we have all consistently expressed our desire to see child poverty in our nation reduced and, ultimately, eradicated. We have different views about how this might best be achieved, and about the impact the Bill will have. I continue to have deep concerns about its impact. I fear that it will lead to more children and families being poor. Continue reading “Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Durham welcomes commitment to publish child poverty data”

Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Durham passes amendment to Bill on measurement of child poverty

On 25th January 2016, the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, led a debate on an amendment he had tabled to the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill. The amendment, at the Bill’s Report Stage, sought to ensure that Government would continue to use income as part of its measurement for child poverty.The amendment was supported by the Labour and Liberal Democrat frontbench and by a crossbench Peer. The Bishop put the amendment to a vote, which the House passed by 290 to 198. His speech and others from the debate are below.

14.06.10 Bishop of Durham 5 Continue reading “Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Durham passes amendment to Bill on measurement of child poverty”

Bishop of Birmingham questions Government over Child Poverty figures

Birmingham 171115On the 14th May 2013 Lord Dubs asked the Government a question about child poverty, the Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart asked a supplementary question regarding the ways in which the Government could close the gap.

Continue reading “Bishop of Birmingham questions Government over Child Poverty figures”