Bishop of London asks about funding for social care

The Bishop of London asked a question about sources of funding for care on 24th November 2022, during a debate on adult social care:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, the Archbishops’ commission on social care, which will be publishing its report next year, is also concerned about the inequitable funding when funding is raised through council tax. Can the Minister indicate how central money will reduce this inequality to accessing care and whether the Government are doing any evaluation of that?

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Bishop of London asks about living wage for social care workers

The Bishop of London asked a question about establishing a living wage for social care workers on 21st November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, Enabled Living in Newham has become the first London-based social care provider to pay its workers the real living wage—the first such employer to do so. We have heard that social care workers are among the lowest paid, with one in five residential care workers living in poverty before the cost of living crisis, according to the Health Foundation. What assessment have the Government made of the real living wage and the impact that it could have on retaining valuable social care workers?

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Bishop of Bristol asks about conditions in the social care system

The Bishop of Bristol asked a question on concerns about fair wages and working conditions in the care sector on 8th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, there are currently more than 160,000 vacancies in the social care sector, and, so often, the work of voluntary carers—relatives—needs the support of the wider social care system. Research from the TUC finds that one in three current care workers is likely to leave in the next few years due to low pay. It is very good to see the Government’s new Made with Care recruitment drive. However, please can the Minister set out what the Government are doing to address the concerns about pay and status in the social care system, particularly given the ongoing cost of living crisis?

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Bishop of London asks about living wage for care providers

The Bishop of London asked a question about a living wage for care providers on 3rd November 2022, during a debate on “fire and rehire” practices used by employers:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, having access to secure work is key to health, not just of individuals but the community. It means sufficient wages and reliable hours. London has the highest share of care workers paid below the real living wage of any English region. What are the Government doing to encourage care providers to be living wage employers to ensure that the workers who look after us have access to secure work?

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Health and Social Care Levy (Repeal): Bishop of London speaks in debate

On 17th October 2022, the House of Lords debated a bill to repeal the Health and Social Care Levy. The Bishop of London spoke about the importance of sustainable funding for the health and social care systems:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, I have some technical questions about the implications of repealing this levy, but they prompt more significant questions about the sustainability of health and social care funding, as other noble Lords have already suggested. The sustainability of health and social care is hugely important to me, not just as a former Government’s Chief Nursing Officer, but as a bishop. This is about funding a service well with a long-term view, so that those who work hard to care for us have the resources to do the job. This is about the fact that every person is of great value in God’s sight and should be treated with dignity and equity. This is about a thriving economy because, without a healthy population, we will not have an economy that grows.

When the levy was introduced, the then Financial Secretary wrote to the Treasury Select Committee to justify it, saying that

“it would not be possible to fund this from existing tax revenues, nor would it be responsible to fund it through borrowing.”

This uncertainty about the direction does not inspire confidence that the Government have a sustainable plan to fund health and social care. If repealing this levy will not affect health and social care funding, can the Minister guarantee that a detailed breakdown of how this tax cut will be funded will be set out clearly?

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Bishop of Durham asks about care homes

The Bishop of Durham asked the following question about a proposal to discharge people from hospitals to care homes on 8th September 2022, during a debate on energy costs in care homes:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I was going to ask a very similar question; the Minister did not answer the specific question about the Secretary of State’s proposal that she may move people from hospitals into care homes and ensuring that that is joined up. Will he comment on that proposal?

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Bishop of Derby calls for social care policy to be informed by voices of young people with care experience

On 22nd June 2022 the Bishop of Derby asked a question she had tabled in the Lords, calling on policymakers to listen to the voices of care-experienced young people when making decisions on social care.


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Bishop of Carlisle asks about children’s social care

The Bishop of Carlisle asked a question on 24th May 2022, during a debate on the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, as we have already heard, much is to be welcomed in this review, which clearly has the needs of vulnerable children and young people right at its core. The emphasis on boosting early help to prevent children reaching a crisis point is crucial.

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Bishop of Portsmouth asks Government about establishing a royal commission on social care

On 20th May 2020 a Government statement was given in the virtual House of Lords regarding care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, we know how crucial the social care sector is, and the huge challenges it faced even before Covid-19, with 120,000 care assistant vacancies. Can the Minister therefore respond to the excellent suggestion from the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury that we establish a royal commission on social care, not to blame but to learn, so that we have the right information to make the right decisions and provide the right services for these most vulnerable people?

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Bishop of Rochester responds to Chancellor’s Budget Statement

On 18th March 2020 the House of Lords debated the Budget Statement made the previous week by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester:  My Lords, as many have already observed, this Budget comes in extraordinarily unusual circumstances, and in relation to the issues around Covid-19, subsequent to the Budget announcement, the Chancellor has brought forward a number of measures which have been largely well received, and no doubt others will need to follow. While voluntary action in our communities will form much of the day-to-day response to those who are the most vulnerable and potentially isolated across our nation, the sustaining of public services and of businesses is vital for both our social and economic well-being; other speakers have already begun to address some of those issues.​

Following the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury is always a risky business, and other noble Lords have already spoken with considerable knowledge of these matters, so I shall focus my remarks on one or two specific issues and areas which were already matters of concern, and where that concern is perhaps greater because of the circumstances in which we now find ourselves.

On children and young people, I hugely welcome the long-overdue extension of higher-rate housing benefit for care leavers until the age of 25, thus giving stability in their accommodation beyond their 22nd birthday. This is something that the Church of England organisation the Children’s Society and other charities have campaigned for over some time, and it is most welcome. Also welcome is the £2.5 million for research on family hubs. However, what is not in the provisions of the Budget or subsequent provisions is sufficient funding to address the urgent need for every child to achieve a good start in life, and that is becoming more urgent in the light of the current circumstances. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester responds to Chancellor’s Budget Statement”

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