Bishop of Durham speaks in a debate on Bill to front-load Child Benefit

On 8th July 2022, the House of Lords debated the Front-Loaded Child Benefit Bill at its second reading. The Bishop of Durham spoke in the debate on this Private Member’s Bill and his speech and contributions from other peers are below:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I rise to speak to this Bill with a degree of curiosity. I thank the noble Lord, Lord Farmer, for introducing it.

Children, and the family who cares for them, should be particularly supported in their early years. This is when their most important development happens, so we must want them to thrive. These early years are still too often overlooked in the impact they have on both the leading of a happy and healthy life or the long-term harm of adverse childhood experiences. The Bill is an interesting one, as I can see some of the arguments for front-loading child benefit. However, I also have some quite deep concerns. I understand that the noble Lord, Lord Farmer, has intentionally kept his briefing for the Bill minimal to accommodate the policy-making that would have to accompany it, but there are some key details to learn, or note.

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