Bishop of Worcester asks Government about plans to consult on, assess impact, and set time limit for reduction in overseas aid

On 30th December the Bishop of Worcester received written answers to five questions on Government plans to reduce the overseas aid budget:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to consult with (1) civil society, (2) faith groups, and (3) other humanitarian actors, before drafting any legislation to amend the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015. [HL11257] Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester asks Government about plans to consult on, assess impact, and set time limit for reduction in overseas aid”

Votes: Trade Bill

On 7th December the House of Lords considered amendments to the Government’s Trade Bill. Three votes on amendments were held in which Lords Spiritual took part. All three amendments were passed:

Continue reading “Votes: Trade Bill”

Bishop of Worcester calls for national child poverty strategy

On 7th December 2020 the Bishop of Worcester asked a question of Government on social mobility and the need for a national child poverty strategy:
The Lord Bishop of Worcester [V]: My Lords, I speak today on behalf of the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Newcastle, who has been delayed travelling to London. Like her, I am very aware of the relationship between child poverty and a lack of social mobility, but she has a special interest as independent chair of the North of Tyne Inclusive Economy Board. Child poverty is central to the Government’s levelling-up agenda. Since 35% of children in the north-east of England live in relative poverty, would the Minister tell us if Her Majesty’s Government will work with the Social Mobility Commission to develop a national child poverty strategy in response to the Covid-19 pandemic?

Bishop of Worcester says Government aid cut is a broken promise to the poorest

On 25th November 2020 the House of Lords asked questions of Government on its abandonment of the legal commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid. The Bishop of Worcester highlighted the many pledges made to protect this, which had now been broken:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester [V]: My Lords, the 2019 Conservative general election manifesto said:

“We will proudly maintain our commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on development”.

That was before Covid, of course. On 16 June, the Prime Minister said in the other place that spending 0.7% remained the Government’s commitment.

On 18 June, the Leader of the House reassured the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Peterborough of the Government’s continued commitment to the 0.7% target.

In this House on 2 September, the noble Baroness, Lady Sugg, reassured the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Bristol, with these words:

“I assure her that we will continue to be guided by our responsibilities under the International Development Act”.—[Official Report, 2/9/20; col. 354.]

In a letter to the Prime Minister last week, I drew attention to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s words:

“A promise to the poor is particularly sacred.”

Does the Minister agree with him? Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester says Government aid cut is a broken promise to the poorest”

Votes: UK Internal Market Bill

On 9th November 2020 the House of Lords debated and voted on the Government’s UK Internal Market Bill during its Committee stage. A cross-party group of Peers, including the Bishop of Leeds, had tabled motions that all the clauses of Part 5 of the Bill, which covered Northern Ireland, international law, and executive powers,  should not remain in the Bill. These successfully passed by large majorities across two votes. Nine bishops took part in the votes. Continue reading “Votes: UK Internal Market Bill”

Votes: Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill

On 21st October 2020 three votes were held on the Government’s Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill. Members of the Lords were asked to agree with the decisions of the Commons to reject amendments they had passed to the Bill, or to propose further amendments in lieu of them. Several bishops took part:
Continue reading “Votes: Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill”

Vote: UK Internal Market Bill motion to regret

On Tuesday 20th October a vote was taken on a Motion to Regret on the Government’s United Kingdom Internal Market Bill. Seven bishops voted for the Motion:
Continue reading “Vote: UK Internal Market Bill motion to regret”

Bishop of Worcester: Government plans to cap public sector payouts will have negative effect on pensions of lower paid

On 23rd September 2020 the House of Lords was asked to approve the Government’s Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020. The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, spoke in the debate, highlighting the negative consequences of the Regulations for the pensions of longstanding and lower paid public sector workers:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, the attempt to address egregiously large public sector exit payments is undoubtedly a good thing and I applaud it. However, to enact regulations without attention being given to unintended consequences for lower-paid staff is surely not. Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester: Government plans to cap public sector payouts will have negative effect on pensions of lower paid”

Votes: Agriculture Bill

On 22nd September 2020 votes took place in the House of Lords on amendments to the Government’s Agriculture Bill. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishops of St Albans, Leeds and Worcester took part.

House of Lords Division Lobby

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Bishop of Worcester asks Government to encourage involvement of people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in creative industries

On 22nd September 2020 Members of the House of Lords asked questions of Government on support for diversity in the creative industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, asked a question:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, given that engagement with the creative industries can have such a positive impact on society in so many ways, does the Minister agree that it is crucial for the Government to seek to encourage a much greater involvement of those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in the creative industries, so as to enable those industries to represent and engage with the whole of society? Does she further agree that this is a matter of urgency, given the vulnerability of such groups at present to Covid-19 and other health risks, as well as to unemployment? Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester asks Government to encourage involvement of people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in creative industries”