On 9th January 2020, the Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke in the Queen’s Speech debate, about unifying the nation by building on the expansion of the Living Wage and addressing welfare, child poverty, homelessness and help for the disabled:
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, it is stating the obvious to say that these are turbulent, uncertain times, perhaps the most turbulent in living memory, even when that memory belongs to Members of your Lordships’ House—a particular, special demographic. It is striking in the face of so much that is uncertain and unknown that the Government’s rhetoric is of clarity, confidence, and even dash. However, while the terrain might be new, much of the rhetoric is from an older school. What is novel is from whom it comes. Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth responds to Queen’s Speech – how to build ‘one-nation’”
“Employers who have already adopted a living wage policy have lifted thousands of people out of working poverty. They are not claiming tax credits because they have been lifted out. The Exchequer could gain up to £4.2 billion a year in increased tax revenues and reduced expenditure on tax credits. That is a much neater way of doing it.“- Archbishop of York, 26/10/15
On 26th October 2015 the House of Lords debated a motion to approve the Government’s Tax Credits (Income Thresholds and Determination of Rates) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.
Alongside the motion to approve the House also debated four amendments to the motion, from Liberal Democrat, Crossbench and Labour Peers and one from the Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Rev Christopher Foster. Continue reading “Archbishop of York speaks against Government proposals on tax credits”
On 19th October 2015 Lord Haskel asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the financial impact on British business of the new minimum wage when it comes into effect in 2016.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, while welcoming the Government’s moves to look at the level of wages as the Minister has mentioned in terms of the minimum living wage, I am aware that the Resolution Foundation is concerned about very small businesses—those that employ fewer than 10 people. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about impact of National Living Wage on small businesses”
On 3rd August 2015 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received answers to written questions on the government’s plans for a National Living Wage, and on the income pressures faced by young people:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to bring the National Living Wage in line with the rate recommended by the Living Wage Foundation by incorporating adjustments for cost of living and support received through tax credits. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks government about plans for a national living wage”
On the 21st July 2015 the Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, spoke during the debate on the Budget Statement. The Bishop welcomed the new National Living Wage and asked for greater transitional support for employers and employees, as well as careful attention to phasing in the reduction in tax credits.
Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough welcomes Budget announcement on National Living Wage”
“On behalf of the well-being of the children themselves, if we are going to make this increase in provision, which I am sure we will and indeed should, let us try to ensure that all the regulations that follow place the child at the centre, not the adults, whether those adults be the parents, the providers or the politicians.” – Bishop of Durham, 16/6/15
On Tuesday 16th June 2015 the House of Lords debated the Government’s Childcare Bill. Details about the Bill can be seen here. The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the debate, raising concerns related to funding, capacity, pay and putting the needs of children first. The full text of his speech is below, with extracts from the Minister’s reply, and can also be watched on the Parliament website here.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, in welcoming the general intent of this Bill, I wish to raise a number of concerns. It seems to me that there are already several common threads in what is being said. It may well be that they will be addressed—they will need to be—in the secondary legislation, but to be able fully to support the Bill I believe this House needs some assurances regarding these concerns. In raising them, I wish to point out that I have consulted some who are engaged in this work already, and also those for whom it is intended to be a benefit—parents and, indeed, grandparents. Continue reading “Childcare Bill – Speech by Bishop of Durham”
On 11th November 2014, Lord Haske asked Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the report by the Resolution Foundation Low Pay Britain 2014.The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, now that the economy is picking up, will the Minister comment on the living wage and on whether the Government believe that the minimum wage really is enough?
Lord Ashton of Hyde: The right reverend Prelate is right to bring this subject up. The minimum wage is a minimum as a catch-all; the Government support people and businesses paying above that, if they can pay the living wage, but only when it is affordable and not at the expense of jobs. In BIS, the department I represent, we have recently increased the pay of the lowest-paid workers in the department so that everyone receives the living wage. We support that as long as it is not at the expense of jobs.