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.
On the 28th October 2014, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question to Lords Holmes of Richmond’s question about what Her Majesty’s Government made of the recent youth unemployment statistics, asking what the government was doing to ensure the effects of economic growth were felt by those living outside the city of London.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I congratulate Her Majesty’s Government on these figures, which are very encouraging, not least in London where the number of unemployed young people has declined by 57,000, which is significant. However, the figures also reveal that in the north-east of the country, the figures have declined by only 8,000. There, the levels of unemployment among young people remain stubbornly high. Can the Minister tell us what Her Majesty’s Government are doing to help in these areas, where the problem is much worse?
Lord Freud: My Lords, we have a number of programmes aimed at getting youngsters into the workforce all around the country. There is a mixture of the Work Programme, the flexible support scheme, the sector-based work academies and work experience. We are using a whole range of programmes to help youngsters into the workforce. They are working not just in London but right around the country. Clearly, we just have to stay on the issue and make sure that we get everyone in every part of the country into the workforce.
On 15th January 2014, Lord Holmes of Richmond asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of people in full-time employment in the United Kingdom.
The Bishop of Newcastle asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, the Minister will be aware that there are still significant regional differences in unemployment levels in the UK. Can he tell us what regional policies the Government may have in mind to help the situation in areas such as the one where I live, in the north-east of England, where unemployment levels are still in double figures?