Division: Welfare Reform and Work Bill

On 29th February 2016 the House of Lords considered amendments at Report Stage to the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill. Lord Low of Dalston moved an amendment to the Bill to require a delay in implementation of changes to the work related activity component for those on Employment Support Allowance, until a report had been laid before Parliament. A vote was taken on the amendment, in which the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, took part. Continue reading “Division: Welfare Reform and Work Bill”

Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Portsmouth welcomes child poverty proposals and presses Government on two-child limit

On 29th February 2016, the House of Lords considered changes made in the House of Commons to the Government’s Welfare and Work Reform Bill. Earlier, MPs had voted to reject an amendment to the Bill tabled by the Bishop of Durham and passed by the House of Lords, which made it a duty of the Secretary of State to report annually on income measures of child poverty. In its place Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, tabled an alternative Government amendment in the Lords, to require government to annually publish the child poverty income measures, without requiring a report to be laid before Parliament. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, and the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, both welcomed this concession by Government. Lord Freud’s speech introducing that amendment can be seen here. The Bishop of Durham’s response can be seen here.The Bishop of Portsmouth’s response is below, in which he also pressed the Minister on points he had made at earlier stages about the two-child limit and impact on those who are bereaved or fleeing domestic violence. 

BishPortsspeechtaxcreditsThe Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, I, too, am grateful for the Government’s decision to publish under obligation the three HBAI low-income measures, along with the further measure of children in persistent poverty. In welcoming this response to the clear wish of the House, I will not detain the House with my commentary on the tortuous routes to this wise and welcome decision, tempting though that is; we are in Lent and bidden not to succumb to temptation. As we have so powerfully and carefully considered in this House the plight particularly of children in poverty, I recall that the Minister said that he expected the Government to come under further pressure—I paraphrase—and I do not want to disappoint him. Continue reading “Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Portsmouth welcomes child poverty proposals and presses Government on two-child limit”

Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Durham welcomes commitment to publish child poverty data

On 29th February 2016, the House of Lords considered changes made in the House of Commons to the Government’s Welfare and Work Reform Bill. Earlier, MPs had voted to reject an amendment to the Bill tabled by the Bishop of Durham and passed by the House of Lords, which made it a duty of the Secretary of State to report annually on income measures of child poverty. In its place Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, tabled an alternative Government amendment in the Lords, to require government to annually publish the child poverty income measures, without requiring a report to be laid before Parliament. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, and the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, both welcomed this concession by Government. Lord Freud’s speech introducing that amendment can be seen here. The Bishop of Durham’s response is below. The Bishop of Portsmouth’s response can be seen here.

Bp Durham June 2015 bThe Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, throughout our debates on the Bill, we have all consistently expressed our desire to see child poverty in our nation reduced and, ultimately, eradicated. We have different views about how this might best be achieved, and about the impact the Bill will have. I continue to have deep concerns about its impact. I fear that it will lead to more children and families being poor. Continue reading “Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Durham welcomes commitment to publish child poverty data”

Welfare Reform Bill – Bishop of Portsmouth thanks Government for amendments

On 9th February 2016 the House of Lords passed the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill at Third Reading. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke briefly to thank the Minister for the amendments agreed by Government.

The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, without wanting to detain the House, I add on behalf of this Bench our thanks to the Minister and offer our support and gratitude for the amendments he has brought forward today. The concerns that have been expressed around the House on many occasions for those who are most vulnerable in society have been passionate and heartfelt. It is good and reassuring when they are heard, and we offer our thanks as well.


(via Parliament.uk)

 

Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Durham speaks in favour of measures to aid supported housing

On the 27th January 2016 the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke during the second day of the Report  Stage of the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill. The Bishop spoke in support of an amendment in the name of Lord Best, to exclude supported housing from the proposed social housing rent reduction.

Bp Durham June 2015 b

Continue reading “Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Durham speaks in favour of measures to aid supported housing”

Welfare Reform Bill: Divisions, Report Stage day 2

On the 27th January 2016 bishops took part in one vote during the Report Stage day 2 debate on the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill. The amendment was to negate planned reductions in payments for those receiving Employment Support Allowance in the work related activity group.

Lords No Division Lobby

House of Lords Division Lobby

Continue reading “Welfare Reform Bill: Divisions, Report Stage day 2”

Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Durham supports 2 child limit exemptions

On 27th January 2016 the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, proposed an amendment at Report Stage to the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill. The amendment, supported by Labour, Liberal Democrat and Crossbench Peers, set out exemptions from the two-child limit for new claimants of tax credit and universal credit for kinship carers, bereaved parents, those fleeing domestic violence and disabled children. The Bishop of Durham supported the amendment and his speech is below. During his response to the amendment the Minister Lord Freud offered a number of concessions, most notably on kinship carers, and as a result the amendment was not put to a vote.

Bp Durham June 2015 bThe Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I would like to tell two stories that illustrate why I believe two of these exemptions are important. A good friend of mine and his wife were unable to have children, and they put themselves forward as adoptive parents. They went through the rigorous process—this was a few years ago—and with great pride entered a room with several of us who had our own children and presented a piece of paper that said, “I have been authorised to become a parent in a way that none of you ever have”. Continue reading “Welfare Reform Bill: Bishop of Durham supports 2 child limit exemptions”