On 2nd August 2018 the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler received a written answer from Lord Bates about Child Tax Credit.
On 25th July 2018 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received three written answers to questions about families affected by the two-child limit on benefit claims:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the statistics related to the policy to provide support for a maximum of two children published on 28 June by HM Revenue & Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions, of the 70,620 households affected, and not in receipt of an exception, what are the number of households with (1) 3 dependent children, (2) 4 dependent children, and (3) 5 or more dependent children. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about families affected by two-child limit on welfare benefits”
On 18th July 2018 Baroness Garden of Frognal asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to increase knowledge of work skills, careers and jobs amongst primary school children.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, given the importance of public service and volunteering in our nation, will the Minister give priority to communicating the vocation to serve as part of the formation of our young people? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark says children should be taught about vocation to serve”
On 17th May 2018 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to three questions he had tabled on Universal Credit:
Lord Bishop of Durham:
(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many families claiming Universal Credit incur childcare costs above £760.42 per month for one child or £1303.57 for two or more children.
(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to ensure that the maximum amount of childcare costs supported through Universal Credit reflects the cost of full-time childcare for children under three.
(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effect on childcare providers of payment in arrears of Universal Credit. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about childcare costs and Universal Credit”
On 16th May 2018 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler received a written answer to a question on the costs of daycare for children:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the costs and benefits of extending the 30 hours free childcare for three and four year olds to families where parents are in training to prepare for work.
The following letter, expressing concern about the consequences of the two-child limit policy for children and families was signed by sixty bishops (including nineteen Lords Spiritual) and representatives from other denominations and faiths. It appeared in The Times newspaper on 6th April 2018.
The publication of the letter coincided with the release of a report from the End Child Poverty Coalition assessing the impact of the policy, which was introduced in April 2017. The accompanying press release from the Coalition can be accessed here, and the Church of England’s media notice is available here.
The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, published a blog on the Church of England’s website on the same day, the full text of which is also reproduced below.
Two-child limit on Universal Credit
Sir, Today the “two-child limit” policy, which restricts tax credit and universal credit to the first two children in a family, has been in place for a year. The policy is making it harder for parents to achieve a stable and resilient family life. By 2021, 640,000 families will have been affected. Most are low-earning working families, most have three children and some will have made decisions about family size when they were able to support children through earnings alone, but later claimed tax credits or universal credit after bereavement, redundancy, separation, disability, illness or simply low pay. Continue reading “Bishops highlight consequences of the two-child limit in letter to The Times and blog post”
On 26th March 2018 the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a question he had tabled to Government on the two-child limit policy for tax credit and universal credit. His follow-up question and those of other members is reproduced below:
The Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what specific measures they are taking to monitor the impact of the two-child limit policy in the child element of Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit on the well-being of children.
The Minister for State, Department for International Development, Lord Bates: My Lords, the Government are committed to supporting child well-being, and keep all our child welfare policies under review. We provide a range of support for children, including child benefit, that continues to be paid for each child in a household. Since 2010 there are 1 million fewer people in absolute poverty, including 300,000 fewer children.
The Bishop of Durham: I thank the Minister for that reply. Given that the Government’s impact assessment argues that the two-child limit would have a positive impact on overall family stability, and that the policy would increase financial resilience and support improved life chances for children, what current evidence does the Minister have to support the claims that the policy will have a positive impact on overall family stability and improve life chances for children?