A good call from the Archbishop of York in Parliament

I have had the privilege to connect with Stephen Cottrell in the past before he became the Archbishop of York so he is someone I very much appreciate. He was involved in a debate that took place last week in the House of Lords that was a focus on Universal Credit. His response for the debate directed to the Government Minister, James Younger was as follows:

My Lords, it is encouraging to see that the Government are keeping a check on the numbers of people being affected by these policies, but I was not quite sure whether I heard that work is being done to measure the impact of the policies on families. I can say, and it gives me no joy to say it, that from where I serve in the north of England—I am thinking particularly of Middlesbrough and Hull—I see the disturbing impact of an increase in poverty, child poverty and families in very difficult situations, not least with the cost of living crisis on top of all this. My simple, genuine and heartfelt question is: how would you explain this to a mum expecting her third child, or a family with three or four children who have been pushed into benefits over the past couple of years? They do not understand why this is happening but they are suffering as a consequence of it. How do we explain to them the rightness of this policy?

And this is what James Younger stated

My Lords, first, we are very aware of the fact that some people are finding it particularly difficult at the moment—some very good points have been made about that. One of the issues to focus on, which we are doing, is childcare, which is a key enabler of employment for parents and has clear developmental benefits for children. Of course, the onus falls on the caseworkers in the jobcentres. Often they are very well trained, and they have to deal directly with these people who come with some heartfelt stories.

This debate was very helpful and we can very much appreciate this response from Stephen for raising concerns for the North area that he is involved in.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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