Bishop of Chester highlights importance of credit unions and financial education

On 12th July 2018 Lord Leigh of Hurley led a debate in the House of Lords on the motion, “That this House takes note of the measures being taken to promote personal savings and the role they can play in building a stronger and fairer economy.” The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, on behalf of the House, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Lilley, for his splendid maiden speech and look forward to many contributions from him in future. He mentioned the kingdom of Mercia; Chester was the northern outpost of that kingdom, so I look forward to collaboration with the noble Lord, as we do collaborate on a think tank concerned with energy and climate policy. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester highlights importance of credit unions and financial education”

Bishop of Birmingham asks Government to increase support for the financially excluded

birmingham-211016cOn the 18 December 2017 Baroness Tyler of Enfield led a debate on the report of the Select Committee on Financial Exclusion –  Tackling Financial Exclusion: A country that works for everyone? (Session 2016-17, HL Paper 132). The Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart was a member of the Committee, and spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Birmingham: My Lords, as we resume the debate on Tackling Financial Exclusion: A Country that Works for Everyone?, there can be no more poignant reminder of the issues raised in the committee’s report and the seriousness with which we need to take its challenge. As the Bishop of Kensington said in the service [for Grenfell Tower survivors and community] just mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Bourne, we can be too wrapped up in our own interests and prosperity, but we might just now turn outwards towards each other—a society known for listening, compassion and love.

Continue reading “Bishop of Birmingham asks Government to increase support for the financially excluded”

Bishop of St Albans asks about automatic credit increases by lenders

On 14th December 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on credit:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they will monitor the voluntary agreement by lenders not to give automatic credit limit increases to consumers. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about automatic credit increases by lenders”

Bishop of St Albans calls for end to freeze on working age benefits, to help children and families

On 16th November 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, led a debate in the House of Lords on the benefit freeze. His opening speech and that of the Minister responding are below. The whole debate can be read here.

“The Lord Bishop of St Albans to ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the impact of rising inflation on families affected by the freeze of working age benefits.”

Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, we are at risk of failing a substantial number of children and some of the most needy people of this country. If a society is to be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable, then unless we are prepared to put aside party difference and make common purpose in addressing inequalities in our system of social security, we will surely be found wanting. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans calls for end to freeze on working age benefits, to help children and families”

Bishop of St Albans leads debate on risks of rising household debt

On Monday 13th November the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, led a debate in the House of Lords on the levels of household debt in the UK. His opening speech is below, along with the responding speech of the Government Minister (all the speeches in the debate can be read here).

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the risks posed by current levels of household debt in the United Kingdom.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I am deeply concerned—as I know are many other Members of this Chamber—about rising levels of household debt in this country. Households in the UK are taking ​on far more debt than they used to and overall are taking on more debt than they bring home in income. While the ratio of household debt to income has not yet eclipsed the 160% peak hit in early 2008, it currently hovers around 140%, a dramatic shift from the ratio of 95% in 1997.

Of course there are good reasons why families in this country choose to take on debt—perhaps to buy a house or another form of secured debt—but, nevertheless, we know that for some people the prospect of saving for a house is inconceivable and that those who are lucky enough to purchase a house take on an extremely high level of mortgage debt. This burden, especially for young people, should be recognised. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans leads debate on risks of rising household debt”

Bishop of Salisbury discusses Intergenerational Fairness – Debt, Refugees & Our Environmental Legacy

Bp Salisbury 2 

On 26th October 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Smith of Newnham asking “That the House takes note of the case for intergenerational fairness to form a core part of government policy across all departments.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke in the debate, highlighting the amount of debt being carried by young people and the environmental legacy this generation was bequeathing to future generations.

Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury discusses Intergenerational Fairness – Debt, Refugees & Our Environmental Legacy”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government to act on credit card limits

On 23rd October 2017 Lord Haskel asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to deal with the concerns of the Money Advice Service and the Financial Conduct Authority about the level of consumer and personal debt in the United Kingdom.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, a poll commissioned by Citizens Advice in June found that 18% of people with credit cards who had debt problems had had their credit limits increased automatically without them even asking for it, thereby enabling them to take on even greater debt when they were already facing problems. I understand that the FCA is looking into this, but will the Minister ensure that it is asked to bring in much stronger guidelines on this situation to prevent it getting worse? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government to act on credit card limits”