Bishops May Derail Government Welfare Cuts

Posted by Simon Cross  ·  Be the first to comment

A Government flagship bill which seeks to cap the benefits a family can receive, may be derailed by Church of England bishops.

The Bishops who sit in the House of Lords, are thought to hold the balance of power in the discussion over the Conservative and Lib-Dem plans to impose a £26,000-a-year cap on welfare payments made to families.  

Although one poll has shown widespread public support for the cap – it has been roundly condemned by senior clergy and other church figures, who say that it will cause large scale and unnecessary hardship.

And today the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, John Packer will table an amendment to the proposed bill, which will be the rallying point for other peers keen to stop the reforms.

The Bishops will join forces with former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown, who is the president of UNICEF, Labour peers, and a number of rebel Lib Dem Lords, to halt the legislation.

The threat has seen key Conservative politicians criticising Churchmen for keeping families in a ‘benefits trap’ by refusing to countenance the Cuts which would see benefits limited to the average wage of £26,000 per year.

But others have pointed to numerous flaws in the plan, which may see families with children, who don’t have any other sources of income, forced to migrate to cheaper areas of the country because of soaring rental values.

And some commentators have pointed out that the bill doesn’t take into account that families with better than average incomes will still continue to receive benefits, leading to unequal distribution of resources.

Although the Government is promising ‘transitional arrangements’ to prevent immediate problems, the Bishops feel this isn’t enough, and are set to argue that child benefit should be excluded from the cap – a step ministers say would render it meaningless.

The row between politicians and priests has been expected since the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said last year that ‘no one voted’ for the Government’s welfare policies, and said that ministers were encouraging a ‘quiet resurgence of the seductive language of “deserving” and “undeserving” poor’.  

Bishop Packer said: ‘There is a very real risk that these reforms will cause suffering to the most vulnerable in society. What we’re hoping to do is to lessen that suffering for children in families where parents are unemployed.’  

23rd January

January 23rd, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross

Thumbs Down0
Thumbs Up0

Did you find this article useful?

0 Visitor Comments

Join in the Eden community and comment on this article

Leave A Comment

Leave your comments or suggestions in regards to this article.

Most Popular Articles
Advent Reflection: 6th December - William Philip
Posted on Tuesday 6th of December
Advent Reflection: 5th December - Compassion
Posted on Monday 5th of December
Advent Reflection: 4th December - Amy Boucher Pye
Posted on Sunday 4th of December
Advent Reflection: 3rd December - Cathy Madavan
Posted on Saturday 3rd of December
Advent Reflection: 2nd December - Gemma Willis
Posted on Friday 2nd of December
Advent Reflection: 6th December - William Philip
Posted on Tuesday 6th of December
Advent Reflection: 5th December - Compassion
Posted on Monday 5th of December
Advent Reflection: 4th December - Amy Boucher Pye
Posted on Sunday 4th of December
Advent Reflection: 3rd December - Cathy Madavan
Posted on Saturday 3rd of December
Advent Reflection: 2nd December - Gemma Willis
Posted on Friday 2nd of December
What Are Eden Bundles?
Posted on Friday 11th of November
Creating an all age, fun, and messy church
Posted on Wednesday 28th of March

Updates from the live @Edencouk twitter feed!

Twitter Seperator
Don't forget to follow us @edencouk
Recent Article Comments
No Comments.

Nia Wright has made 0 posts.

34 useful comments

A Reader has made 0 posts.

16 useful comments

Les Ellison has made 54 posts.

10 useful comments

Lyn Myers has made 5 posts.

8 useful comments

James Warwood has made 4 posts.

8 useful comments

Last updated: 24 mins ago