Archbishop says benefit changes will hit the poorest hardest
- 11 Mar
The Archbishop of Canterbury expresses concern that the new benefit changes will be damaging for children and families.
Iain Duncan Smith has dismissed this claim as he says the old system was 'out of control' and needed the change.
Justin Welby, the head of the Church of England, has warned that benefit changes, such as capping the rise of benefits to 1% instead of rising with inflation, will make the most vulnerable suffer.
He is one of 43 bishops who have written an open letter to a newspaper condemning Government plans to change the benefits system, saying it will have a “deeply disproportionate” effect on children.
He has urged the government to consider the most vulnerable, as this move will not support families that are already struggling:
As a civilised society, we have a duty to support those among us who are vulnerable and in need.
When times are hard, that duty should be felt more than ever, not disappear or diminish. It is essential that we have a welfare system that responds to need and recognises the rising costs of food, fuel and housing.
The current benefits system does that, by ensuring that the support struggling families receive rises with inflation.
These changes will mean it is children and families who will pay the price for high inflation, rather than the government.
This is his first political intervention since taking office, and has not been very well received by Iain Duncan Smith, who said:
I have no issue with the Church of England, with the bishops, for them to say whatever they believe.
It's quite right and proper. They should try and argue with us and put pressure on us over a number of issues.
[...] I always listen to everybody who gives me advice. I don't necessarily follow it.
This is about fairness. People who are paying taxes, working very hard, have hardly seen any increases in their salary and yet, under the last government, the welfare bill rose by some 60% to £200bn.
There is nothing moral or fair about a system that I inherited that trapped people in welfare dependency. Some one in every five households has no work - that's not the way to end child poverty.
Figures from the Children's Society says that, under the changes, a single parent earning £530 a week would lose £424 a year by 2015 and a couple with two children, where one parent is working and earning £600 a week, would also lose £424 a year.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said:
In difficult economic times we've protected the incomes of pensioners and disabled people, and most working age benefits will continue to increase [by] 1%.
This was a tough decision but it's one that will help keep the welfare bill sustainable in the longer term.
By raising the personal allowance threshold, we've lifted 2 million people out of tax altogether, clearly benefiting people on a low income.
- 08 Nov
NHS BOSS SETS OUT A CASE FOR CASH BOOST
The speech by Mr Stevens at the NHS Providers' annual conference of health managers is being made at the time when three reputable health think-thanks- the Health Foundation, the King's Fund and the...
- 09 Jun
THERESA MAY PLEDGES TO REPLACE THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT 1983
According to Ms May, the new bill would introduce the following:According to the Tories, the proposals were described as the biggest change to mental health treatment law in over 30 years.Ms May...
- 30 May
THE PRESENT FIRST PRIME MINISTER OF SCOTLAND IS TO PLEDGE AGAINST ANY PLANS TO PRIVATISE THE NHS
It is also expected that Sturgeon will do the following as proof of her party's commitment to fighting against further austerity:Sturgeon said this before Tuesday's manifesto launch:"While the polls...
- 17 Mar
402 MILLION POUNDS WILL BE INVESTED IN COUNCILS WITH THE GREATEST HOMELESSNESS DEMAND FROM APRIL 2017
Presently, funding is only used for homeless households and not for the prevention of homelessness in the first instance.The funding by the Department for Communities and Local Government is set to...
- 15 Mar
RULES AROUND PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENTS MAY CHANGE ON THURSDAY
Ministers have advised chief executives of over 30 charities which claimed that people will be left without vital financial support, to restrict access to a disability benefit.The Disability Benefits...
- 06 Mar
THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN URGED BY THE BMA TO INCREASE HEALTH SPENDING BY 10 BILLION POUNDS
This increase in health spending to a proportion of GDP that matched that of the 10 leading economies across Europe could pay for at least 35,000 extra beds a day and many more GP's, according to the...
- 05 Sep
MANY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REFUGES AT RISK OF CLOSING DUE TO HOUSING BENEFIT CAP
Women who have been victims of domestic violence as well as their children are at risk of falling into the hands of their violent partners if the government caps housing benefit in the social sector...
- 03 Sep
Data on disability benefits refused by DWP
DWP officials have refused a second request for basic information on disability benefits using the “Section 22” exemption they used previously, reports The Independent.The Department had been...
- 02 Sep
UN to investigate how welfare reforms will affect disability rights
A disability charity in Scotland has said it’s been contacted by the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as part of an inquiry into Britain’s treatment of people with...
- 01 Sep
Benefit cuts affecting 48,500 families in Liverpool
Analysis from Liverpool City Council has found that around 48,500 households are likely to lose their benefits due to new government reforms, reports the Liverpool Echo. Councillor Jane Corbett has...
How to fund Housing Support and Social Care Services "Alot of information in a short time, good for me because I travelled a long way. So I feel the journey was worthwhile." C.T - People First Dorset