And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition’s welfare cuts

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, has slammed the coalition's £18 billion welfare cuts.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, has slammed the coalition’s £18 billion welfare cuts. His intervention follows the recent row over whether the government knew that its changes to housing benefit would increase the number of homeless families, and comes after the head of the Church of England, Dr Rowan Williams, spoke out against the coalition’s cuts.


In a letter to work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, seen by The Times (£), Rev. Nichols is reported to have written:

“As you know, some estimates that have already appeared in the media suggest 40,000 families may be rendered homeless. If this were indeed the case it would surely be a perverse result of policies aimed at reducing dependency of the ‘benefits culture’, since emergency support would immediately need to be put in place.

“In some areas of Westminster, it is being suggested that one in six children may have to move home (and probably move school), while in Maida Vale the effects may force up to 43 per cent of households to move. We fear that the cost of this may be felt most by vulnerable families, whose support networks may rapidly disappear in the process.”

Communities secretary Eric Pickles and housing minister Grant Shapps acted swiftly two weeks ago to deny claims in a leaked departmental memo that the reforms risked making 40,000 families homeless. But closer examination showed that they had done so through conflating and confusing two separate ways of understanding homelessness as a means of obfuscation.

Other aspects of Mr Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms have come under attack recently. New analysis (pdf) by the Institute for Fiscal Studies for the Fawcett Society shows that lone mothers are, on average, among the biggest losers of the government’s tax and benefit changes. They are set to lose up to 5 per cent of their net income due to the reforms over the next four years.

The report also finds that lone parents are suffering the greatest from cuts to public services, and are facing increased pressure to find paid work at a time when job opportunities and support for childcare and training are diminishing.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has concluded (pdf) that IDS’s plans to create a Universal Credit, while a sound idea in principle, will not be able to ensure that people are always better off in work. This is because it cannot be adjusted to take into account local differences in childcare and transport costs.

23 Responses to “And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition’s welfare cuts”

  1. salardeen

    And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts: //bit.ly/mROQNC reports @wdjstraw

  2. John Edginton

    RT @leftfootfwd: And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts: //bit.ly/mROQNC reports @wdjstraw

  3. Karen Webb

    And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts: //bit.ly/mROQNC reports @wdjstraw

  4. Aaron Kiely

    Most Reverend Vincent Nichols attacks Tory-led Government's welfare cuts. Great to see faith leaders speak out on this. //t.co/w3ITHib

  5. Paulo Coimbra

    And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts: //bit.ly/mROQNC reports @wdjstraw

  6. Portugal Uncut

    And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts: //bit.ly/mROQNC reports @wdjstraw

  7. Mike Rowley

    Most Reverend Vincent Nichols attacks Tory-led Government's welfare cuts. Great to see faith leaders speak out on this. //t.co/w3ITHib

  8. Ferret Dave

    And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts: //bit.ly/mROQNC reports @wdjstraw

  9. Michael

    And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition’s welfare cuts l Left Foot Forward – //tinyurl.com/3gzldku

  10. Gordon MacRae

    I'm with the clerics on this one – RT @leftfootfwd: And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts //t.co/6DIAGJF

  11. CAROLE JONES

    And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts: //bit.ly/mROQNC reports @wdjstraw

  12. Ben Cadwallader

    And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts: //bit.ly/mROQNC reports @wdjstraw

  13. paurina

    And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition’s welfare cuts l Left Foot Forward – //tinyurl.com/3gzldku

  14. Selohesra

    Perhaps Rev Nichols should consider selling off some of the vast assets of the Catholic church and handing those out to the needy & vunerable rather than abdicating responsibility with calls for more handouts presumably funded with ever increasing tax raids on the evil bankers and others of us who have worked hard to get where we are.

  15. C.A. JONES

    Of course the government know that people will be made homeless, but
    THEY JUST DON’T CARE!!! They don’t give a monkey’s uncle about any of the general public. They, and the media, live in a small bubble that has nothing to do with us. I would like to see them “living a high life” on £60.00 per week. They neither know nor care about the “oiks” as they call us. All they care about is money, power and position. That is it.

  16. Pucci Dellanno

    And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts: //bit.ly/mROQNC reports @wdjstraw

  17. Paul McGlynn

    RT @leftfootfwd: And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts //t.co/cnl2pc5

  18. Mike G

    I hope they can work out a reasonable agreement. Good commentary on the budget and Catholic issues at //www.catholicurrent.com/#/.

  19. Kevin Richards

    RT @leftfootfwd: And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts //t.co/sWnxURZ

  20. Grace Kelly

    RT @leftfootfwd: And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts //t.co/SpcEL8O

  21. S.I.D

    And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition's welfare cuts: //bit.ly/mROQNC reports @wdjstraw

  22. Robert

    I also worked hard Selohesra but one mistake on a single day saw my spine broken my spinal Cord ripped to bits I now piss into a bag and shit into a bag, but I worked hard and I paid tax and guess what I still pay income tax even though I have no income.

    God help us people are nuts

  23. Miliband must stop spreading myths about benefit claimants | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • And now a Catholic leader attacks coalition’s welfare cuts – Will Straw, July 21st […]

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