Bishop of Chelmsford – Budget is missed opportunity for environment

On 13th November 2018 the House of Lords debated the Chancellor’s Budget Statement. The Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, spoke in the debate to highlight concerns about the environment, the two-child limit and fixed odds betting terminals.  

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords, for many on these Benches there are measures to welcome in this Budget: for instance, the decision to increase the work allowances within universal credit for families with children and people with disabilities, as other noble Lords have mentioned. This goes a substantial way towards reversing the cuts announced in 2015. Likewise, the announcement of measures to aid the transition to universal credit, worth £1 billion over five years, is also welcome, as is the additional and non-repayable run-on support for new claimants to help people manage during the five-week waiting period before their first payment. However, I am disappointed that the run-on support does not cover the child elements of universal credit. Continue reading “Bishop of Chelmsford – Budget is missed opportunity for environment”

Bishop of Leeds highlights support for One Yorkshire devolution deal

On 17th October 2018 Lord Wallace of Saltaire asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘whether they will respond to the One Yorkshire proposals for devolution to a Combined Yorkshire Authority.’ The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question: 

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, we take the point about the Sheffield city region, but it leaves the rest of Yorkshire wondering where it fits in, and when this will improve for it. We have failing rail infrastructure. In Yorkshire, we have almost total, widespread support for the One Yorkshire devolution deal. A report produced by the Institute for Government has referred to Yorkshire as,

“the hole in the northern powerhouse”.

Although delighted that Sheffield might thrive, the rest of Yorkshire wonders what will happen to it. We are falling behind Manchester and Liverpool in our ability to flex in the economics of the country. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds highlights support for One Yorkshire devolution deal”

Bishop of St Albans calls for new social contract to address low pay and poor working conditions

On 11th October 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Haskel, ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of proposals for greater employee shareholding and participation in corporate governance.’ The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the noble Lord, Lord Haskel, for securing this debate. With such limited time, I shall make just a few comments about the purposes of business in general and then to make one or two observations about the very specific themes raised in the debate.​

All too often, business and commerce are viewed as though their main aim was simply to make the most money possible. This rather reductionist view of business fails to take into account wider questions raised in Christian theology, as well as by many others, such as how everyone can contribute to the common good, issues of justice and fairness, and particularly the sort of values we wish to celebrate and promote as a society. The best businesses, I believe, are those that balance the need to make money with a high priority on the flourishing and thriving of their workforce and a concern for human dignity. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans calls for new social contract to address low pay and poor working conditions”

Archbishop of Canterbury – Making the economy fairer will benefit us all

Originally posted on the Lambeth Palace website.

On the launch of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice report, the Archbishop writes in today’s Daily Mail that we need a fairer society where everyone can flourish.

The Archbishop of Canterbury on the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (Image courtesy of Reuters TV)

I’m proud to live in a country that is the world’s fifth largest economy. We have world-leading businesses characterised by extraordinary innovation, high productivity, strong exports, highly skilled jobs and good pay.

We have low unemployment, lower than for many decades. Economically, politically, and often morally, we remain a global power.

There is much of which we can be proud.

Yet despite these strengths, it is evident that for many people, the economy is not working. It no longer fulfils the promise of rising living standards. Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury – Making the economy fairer will benefit us all”

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 Peterborough questions effectiveness of Apprenticeship levy

PeterboroughFeb2017bOn 25th June 2018 Lord Fox tabled an oral question ‘to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the Apprenticeship Levy.’ The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, is the Minister aware that for small businesses and voluntary organisations the process of drawing up the standards is very complicated and time-consuming, that there is little guidance on this and no financial help for it from government, and that since the levy was introduced the grant for apprenticeships has fallen from £6,000 for an 18-year-old to £2,500, so the YMCA tells me? That makes it unviable for the YMCA to offer apprenticeships. Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough questions effectiveness of Apprenticeship levy”