Bishop of St Albans asks Government about help for those in debt

On 18th September 2017 Lord Bates answered two written questions from the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, on credit card debt and the need for a statutory ‘breathing space’ scheme.

Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to introduce measures to prevent the automatic increase of credit card limits. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about help for those in debt”

Bishop of Southwark asks Government when it will implement Banking Standards Commission recommendations

southwark-20feb17On the 6th September 2017 Lord Leigh of Hurley asked Government “whether it is their policy to reduce unnecessary regulation of financial services; and if so, whether they intend to review current Financial Conduct Authority practices to ascertain whether that regulator is going beyond what is appropriate and necessary to fulfil that policy.” The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, when do Her Majesty’s Government intend to implement in full the principal recommendations of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, published in June 2013?

Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks Government when it will implement Banking Standards Commission recommendations”

Archbishop: British society deserves an economy rooted in the common good

On 5th September 2017 the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, published an article in the Financial Times, about the need to address economic inequality. The Archbishop is a member of the IPPR thinktank’s Commission on Economic Justice, whose interim report can be seen here. The text of the article is below.

Britain stands at a moment of significant economic uncertainty; a watershed moment where we need to make fundamental choices about the sort of economy we need for the way we want to live. Continue reading “Archbishop: British society deserves an economy rooted in the common good”

Queen’s Speech 2017: Bishop of Durham highlights opportunities and risks facing north east

durham-230117On 26th June 2017, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler contributed to the Queen’s Speech debate on business, economic affairs, energy, transport, environment and agriculture. He argued for the importance of investment in the North-East of England and including all groups in discussions around Brexit, the Northern Powerhouse and the Industrial Strategy.

Bishop of Durham: My Lords, perhaps I may add my welcome from these Benches to the noble Lord in his role as Minister. I also look forward to hearing the maiden speeches of the noble Lords, Lord Colgrain and Lord Mountevans, which will be made during this debate.

Since arriving in Durham, I have been struck that life feels more precarious for many in the north-east than it does elsewhere. There are lots of reasons for hope, not least the social regeneration in my home town of Bishop Auckland, but the sense of precariousness persists due to deep structural disadvantages that the region has faced for decades, even centuries. It is against this backdrop that some of the changes to welfare in the last Parliament felt particularly acute and remain of very deep concern. It is also against this backdrop that the uncertainty of the Brexit negotiation is felt. Continue reading “Queen’s Speech 2017: Bishop of Durham highlights opportunities and risks facing north east”

Bishop of Chester welcomes Government policy reversal on National Insurance contributions

ChesterOn 15th March 2017, a statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on national insurance contributions was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, responded to the statement.

The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I think I can paraphrase the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, by saying:

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”,

as Churchill said. It is a strength that the Government can change their mind so openly and directly, and I wish that politicians would more often simply and openly accept that they have changed their mind in the light of the evidence. So, in that sense, I welcome this announcement. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester welcomes Government policy reversal on National Insurance contributions”

Bishop of Chester speaks about national debt and expenditure pressures in Budget debate

Chester1On 14th March 2017, the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, moved that this House takes note of the economy in the light of the Budget Statement. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke in the debate, focusing on national debt and expenditure pressures.

The Lord Bishop of Chester My Lords, it is not only the last spring Budget, it is the last Budget in Lent. If we had any doubts, then the early speeches in this debate brought that Lenten theme home rather well.

I do not want to get into the details of the Budget, which are very political, but to talk about two broader, longer-term issues to which the Chancellor referred in his speech. The first, which has already been alluded to, is our national debt. Its rate of growth is forecast to slow in this decade, but that is stabilisation at a very high level, representing nearly £62,000 for every household in the country. Even at the current very low interest rates, servicing that debt costs £50 billion a year—more than the combined costs of defence and police services in this country. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester speaks about national debt and expenditure pressures in Budget debate”

Bishop of St Albans asks about local business rates

stalbans190117On 1st March 2017, the Bishop of St Albans asked a follow up question to Lord Kennedy of Southwark’s oral question on business rates. Lord Kennedy asked what action the government proposed to take in light of concerns expressed about the increases in business rates.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, will the Minister inform the House whether Her Majesty’s Government would look at the feasibility of setting the threshold of business rate relief at a local level, thereby protecting small independent businesses, many of which are now at risk, especially in high-value areas? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about local business rates”