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”
On 13th February 2020 Baroness Ludford asked the Government “what recent assessment they have made of the services offered by public and private sector organisations to bereaved people.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, the number of pauper public health funerals has risen by 70% since 2015. Churches perform half of all funerals in the United Kingdom and offer ongoing bereavement support to all. Recognising that other faiths also offer bereavement support, will the Government commit to encouraging local public health departments to work with faith communities to improve bereavement support and ensure that every person receives adequate funeral provision that includes care for the bereaved, who are often excluded?
Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester asks Government about pauper funerals and bereavement support”
On 4th February 2020 Lord Naseby asked the Government “what steps they intend to take to ensure free cash machines are available for cash withdrawal for all communities in the United Kingdom.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, the Minister will be aware that the research last autumn by Which? indicated that nearly a quarter of people in the poorest areas use only cash. Will he consider a minimum service guarantee for free cash machines to stem this growing injustice?
Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks about access to cash machines in poorer areas”
On the 7th January the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke during the second day of debate on the Queen’s Speech, on the topics of child poverty, climate change sustainable development and immigration:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, initially I want to note how little reference there is in the gracious Speech to the needs of children, except in the realm of education. There is nothing about children’s first 1,000 days, nor any firm commitment to tackle the iniquity of child poverty. How we treat children speaks volumes for where our priorities lie. Could the Minister please comment on this omission?
Continue reading “Bishop of Durham raises global human rights, poverty, development and climate change in Queen’s Speech debate”
On 3rd October 2019 Lord McNicol of West Kilbride asked the Government “what steps they have taken to reduce inequality in the United Kingdom.” The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, asked a further question about people in poverty as a result of early pilots of universal credit.
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, Newcastle was one of the pilot areas for the rollout of universal credit. It also has one of the largest food banks in the United Kingdom. I have warmly welcomed the changes to universal credit that have ameliorated some of the terrible things that happened in the beginning. However, is anything being done to help those people who were the guinea pigs, who were plunged into poverty and have not managed to come out of it? I would be grateful to know whether anything is being done. Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle asks Government about help for ‘universal credit guinea pigs’ in poverty”
On 10th July 2019 the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions made a statement on universal credit fraud. The Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, asked a question:
Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: I ask the Minister for a bit of clarification. I do not pretend to understand all the ins and outs of this, but I see a lot of suffering, which now seems to be added to by crime. On the one hand, it is good to hear that it is less than 1%, but that would be no consolation for me if I was one of those people who now has to pay back for the fraud perpetrated against me by someone else. I am sorry if I did not understand the answer. I suppose I am asking the Minister to explain what help those victims will get in the terrible situation they find themselves in.
Continue reading “Bishop of Chelmsford asks Government about help for vulnerable people in debt due to benefit fraud”
On 27th June 2019 the House of Lords debated a motion from the Liberal Democrat Peer Baroness Janke, “That this House takes note of the impact of recent benefit changes on vulnerable people.” The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I too am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Janke, for her introduction to this important debate, which touches on a subject that is the responsibility of us all. We should acknowledge that there have been small though welcome attempts by the current Secretary of State to mitigate some of the injustices that have developed in the benefits system in recent years. But I urge that more radical remedial action is needed. In particular, urgent reconsideration is needed of the impact of the two-child limit—a policy which could eventually affect over 3 million children, pushing more than a million who are already in poverty into deeper material and emotional misery.
The introduction of the two-child limit represented a significant shift in social policy. It broke the long-standing principle, upheld by various Governments of all parties, that entitlement to benefits should be linked to need. In its place, no discernible alternative principle underlies the application of the two-child limit.
Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester calls for “unprincipled and harmful” two-child limit benefits policy to be scrapped”