Bishop of Durham asks Government about measurement of poverty

On 4th March 2020 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question on measurement of poverty:

The Lord Bishop of Durham:  To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are planning to adopt the Social Metrics Commission’s measurement of poverty across all departments following the Department for Work and Pensions’ commitment in May 2019 to develop experimental statistics using that Commission’s measurement; and whether they have any further information on this issue. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about measurement of poverty”

Bishop of Durham asks Government about funding for refugee resettlement

On 24th February 2020 Baroness Finlay of Llandaff asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the case for accepting refugee doctors to the United Kingdom.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, it is important that Her Majesty’s Government give serious consideration to complementary pathways such as this for refugees to find sanctuary while they are contributing professional skills of all kinds. However, the Minister will be aware that, this year, the existing refugee resettlement schemes will be consolidated into a new global resettlement scheme, for which only one year of funding has been announced. Is the Minister yet able to confirm that funding will continue for refugee resettlement for the full term of this Parliament, to maintain refugee resettlement at current levels?

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Bishop of Durham asks about the welfare of older people and children in Rwanda

On 13th and 14th February 2020 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received written answers to questions about Rwanda and Tearfund’s report into older people:
The Lord Bishop of Durham:  HL1253 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by Tearfund Ageing in Rwanda, published on 25 January.

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Bishop of Durham asks Government about plans to reduce child poverty

On 13th February 2020 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question on child poverty reduction plans:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: HL1354 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to reduce child poverty levels.

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Bishop of Durham asks Government about HS2 and if trains and carriages will be made in UK

On 11th February 202o the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, responded to a Government statement on transport infrastructure, including  the decision to give the go ahead to the High Speed Two rail link:

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Bishop of Durham asks for rapid changes to universal credit to help most vulnerable

On 4th February 2020 the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Baroness Stedman-Scott, repeated  a Government statement made in the House of Commons on the extension to the universal credit implementation date. The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, can we honour the DWP staff for allowing the BBC in? Many of us look forward to seeing what comes out. They have been very brave; many departments do not do that. I understand that the Minister does listen but some of these things have now been going on since the system’s very inception. Yes, many people at food banks and people who talk locally say that the work coaches are doing a wonderful job. That is great, but it is the most vulnerable who are suffering. Could we please listen to their voice and make some changes very rapidly? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks for rapid changes to universal credit to help most vulnerable”

Bishop of Durham asks Government to invest in early years to improve social mobility

On 29th January 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Tyler of Enfield, “to ask Her Majesty’s Government how they plan to respond to the ten steps to improve social mobility contained in the Sutton Trust’s Mobility Manifesto, published in November 2019, and the recommendations of the Social Mobility Commission’s 2019 State of the Nation report.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Choudrey.

Opportunity, aspiration and education are critical to all having the best chance of being socially mobile. Giving children the best start in life is paramount, so we need more health visitors, better-targeted childcare for those least able to afford it and renewed opportunities for parents to interact with others. Will Her Majesty’s Government commit to a proper national early years strategy with an increased share of future spending?

Church of England schools in my diocese have found it difficult to implement our motto that “no child is left behind” because social mobility is a great challenge exacerbated by a poverty of aspiration. According to the Social Mobility Commission’s survey, less than a third of people living in the north-east think that there are good opportunities in our region.

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