18 British bishops move to oppose welfare caps

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York are among the voices of British bishops who are speaking out against a scheme to cap family welfare benefits at £500/wk that is being proposed by the coalition government.

“In an open letter in Observer, they say the Church of England has a “moral obligation to speak up for those who have no voice”. Their message is that the cap could be “profoundly unjust” to the poorest children in society, especially those in larger families and those living in expensive major cities.

The high-profile intervention comes after the Church of England became embroiled in an embarrassing row over its attitude to anti-capitalist protests outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London. One cleric resigned over plans to evict the protesters forcibly, arguing that the Church should have been more supportive of their cause.

The bishops are calling on ministers to back a series of amendments to the welfare reform bill – due to be debated in the House of Lords tomorrow – that have been tabled by the bishop of Leeds and Ripon, John Packer.”

More here.

The article ends by reporting that it is believed that strong opposition by the Liberal Democrat and other members of parliament will eventually force the government to back away from this proposal.

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