Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about effect on religious families of two-child limit on benefits

On 11th December 2017 Baroness Sherlock asked Her Majesty’s Government “why kinship carers who subsequently have their own child are not exempt from the two child limit.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, the Government have chosen to pursue a deficit-reduction strategy by opting for a fiscally cautious welfare policy. However, ​has the Minister considered that some British families are larger for reasons of faith or principle? Speaking on behalf of people of all faiths in this country, my question is: what plans does the Minister have for ensuring that such families and children are not discriminated against by the policy? Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about effect on religious families of two-child limit on benefits”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plans to increase working age benefits in line with inflation

On 30th November 2017 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on the uprating on welfare benefits with inflation:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Lord Young of Cookham on 16 November (HL Deb, col 2187), whether they plan to revert to uprating working age benefits in line with inflation at the end of the current four-year freeze. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plans to increase working age benefits in line with inflation”

Bishop of Durham calls for urgent changes to “flawed system” of universal credit

On 16th November 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Hollis of Heigham “That this House takes note of the impact of Universal Credit on claimants.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I, too, congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Hollis, on securing this debate and on her introduction.

Universal credit originally set out to simplify a fragmented, complex system and to reduce poverty through the simple, noble philosophy of making work pay. While it still has the potential to transform this ​broken system, its current shape risks undermining these two core objectives for the neediest in the nation and thus failing British families. Almost every week, I receive heart-breaking stories about how the transition to UC is devastating the lives of claimants. What does the five or six-week waiting period, which is often longer, actually look like for a family or single parent with young children? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham calls for urgent changes to “flawed system” of universal credit”

Bishop of Durham asks about impact of cost of living increase and benefits freeze on families

On 2nd November 2017 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received two written answers to questions about income related benefits:

The Lord Bishop of Durham:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the impact of the changing cost of living on incomes, particularly for those in receipt of income-related benefits.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the impact that the four-year freeze on income-related benefits will have on family budgets in England and Wales. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about impact of cost of living increase and benefits freeze on families”

Bishop of Oxford says poorest of poor falling behind, asks Government to act

On 30th October 2017 Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their assessment of the impact of the benefit rate freeze, in the light of the higher rate of inflation than that anticipated in the original impact assessment.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, does the Minister agree that incentivising people back into work and supporting the poorest in our society, including children, are not mutually exclusive? Will she comment on the ways of doing the second alongside the first? Will she also set out the Government’s plans to remedy the current situation, in which the poorest of the poor are falling further behind? Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford says poorest of poor falling behind, asks Government to act”

Bishop of Durham asks for evidence for employment claims about Universal Credit

On 30th October 2017 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question on Universal Credit:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the remarks by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on 9 October (HC Deb, col 4), whether they will publish the evidence supporting his statement that the roll-out of Universal Credit will mean that 250,000 more people will be in work. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks for evidence for employment claims about Universal Credit”

Bishops raise concern about cutbacks to local authority welfare assistance schemes

Seven bishops signed a letter to the Guardian newspaper, printed on 14th September 2017, voicing concern about cutbacks to local authority welfare assistance schemes. Four of the signatories were Lords Spiritual:

Local welfare assistance schemes are a vital lifeline for people who find themselves in a crisis and without basic essentials, such as food, electricity, or a working oven. It is therefore very worrying that most of these schemes have been cut back considerably in recent years and that 26 local councils have now closed them altogether, including in many areas that we represent (English councils’ local welfare schemes in ‘meltdown’, 12 September). Continue reading “Bishops raise concern about cutbacks to local authority welfare assistance schemes”