Poverty and Inequality

Key Resources

click to download

#enough

Every child should grow up in a family with enough money so their basic needs are met. This report outlines why having enough is so important, and how proposed changes to the benefit system will break the link between what many families with children need and the support these family can recieve.

The page contains the report and actions that can be taken to help ensure every child has enough.

 

click to download

#rethinksanctions

A report highlighing the injustice of the current benefit sanctions regime and the harm it is causing to families up and down the country. The report calls for a full enquiry into the system as well as the immediate cessation of removing benefits from families with children and those with mental health problems.

The page contains the report and actions that can be taken to help end this injustice.

 

Faith in Foodbanks cover

Click to download

Faith in Foodbanks?

Find out what Churches and individuals can do to engage with the issues raised by the rise in the need for foodbanks. ‘Faith in Foodbanks?’ includes information on the issues, a series of bible studies and worship resources and practical actions you can take.

 

 

Truth-And-Lies-covers

Click to download

The lies we tell ourselves: ending comfortable myths about poverty

Produced by JPIT with the Church of Scotland, ‘The lies we tell ourselves’ challenges the many widely accepted myths about those who live in poverty and is a major focus of our work on Poverty and Inequality. We believe that for justice to be done we must aim to develop a truthful understanding of poverty, its experience and it’s causes.

 

 


More…

  • JPIT briefing ahead of today’s Universal Credit debate

    Universal Credit will be debated in Parliament today and the JPIT churches have sent a briefing to every MP outlining our concerns.  The briefing outlines some of the key problems but the central message is simple: Universal Credit’s processes suit the lives of the relatively well-off, the people who designed it, but fails to take ...

  • Universal Credit: Bending the evidence and carrying on regardless

    At Prime Minister’s Questions Theresa May defended the roll out of Universal Credit by saying that the new benefit gets more people into work. Since July the Government has used the phrase, “ Universal Credit people are moving into work faster and staying in work longer than under the old system”, time and time again. While it is true, as with many DWP statements, it is ...

  • Universal Credit – David Gauke’s inadequate answer to a huge problem

    Paul Morrison explains why the Universal Credit announcements are not what they seem. Families applying for Universal Credit must wait 6 weeks for their first payment. This is causing huge problems. Families are building up rent arrears, debts and needing help from foodbanks as they wait for their money. David Gauke MP, Secretary of State for ...

  • Benefit Cap cuts to single parents with young children is unlawful says High Court

    The Benefit Cap causes real misery to no good purpose. While I agree with this sentiment it is not mine. It comes from the closing sentence of a High Court judgement which declares unlawful the Government’s policy of capping the benefits of single parents with children under 2 years old. The full judgement is a ...

  • Church leaders’ statement in advance of the General Election

    “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” As we prepare for the General Election, we recognise that Christians across our nations will prayerfully vote for a variety of parties and candidates in good conscience. We celebrate the fact that Christian people are inspired by their faith to debate passionately – and to ...

  • Press Release: Churches condemn UK Government’s new two-child limit

    Churches condemn Government’s new two-child limit as “deliberately ignoring” needs of some of the UK’s poorest children   From Thursday 6th April the Government’s flagship benefit, Universal Credit, will not offer help to the third or subsequent children in a family. This fundamentally changes the benefit system so that it “deliberately ignores” the needs of some of ...

  • DWP Benefit Cap Announcement : More Leeches please!

    For over 2,000 years medics cut people open or applied leaches to remove blood from people suffering from diseases ranging from cancer to haemorrhoids. With the wrong diagnosis and a dangerous treatment, it is not surprising that the medics didn’t do any good. The practice remained popular because despite the bloodletting some of the patients ...

  • 10 Reasons to Celebrate 2016

    With #annushorribilis and #worstyearever becoming increasingly popular hashtags on Twitter, many people are breathing sighs of relief that 2016 is nearly over. But whether 2016 has been your worst year ever or joyful from start to finish, we think there are things to rejoice over. So here it is, our optimistic offering, the top 10 reasons ...

  • A Very British Christmas: Ayana’s story

    A Very British Christmas. What images does that phrase conjure up in your head? For many of us, the idea of A Very British Christmas equates to the promise of the annual Strictly Come Dancing special, or the arrival of Pret’s Christmas sandwich range. Of course, for decades, Christian commentators have bemoaned the commercialisation of Christmas. ...

  • Autumn Statement: Huge planned and unplanned benefit cuts are coming

    There are big benefit cuts coming. The Chancellor’s small but welcome change to Universal Credit Taper rates is a drop in the ocean. The maths is brutally simple. The benefits freeze costs low income families much more than £3.6Bn, the Universal Credit Work Allowance cut will cost £3.2bn, and the Chancellor’s Universal Credit give away ...

  • How does the Benefit Cap Remain so Popular?

    The Benefit Cap – a cap placed on the amount of benefit a family can receive – is an extraordinarily difficult policy to argue against. This is not because it has merits – it is in almost every respect terrible – but because it so beautifully taps into negative beliefs about the benefits system and ...

  • News Release: Churches say Benefit Cap is “damaging” and overwhelmingly targets families with children

    Today the four churches have spoken out about the damage that the Benefit Cap causes and their concern that on Monday 7th November the Cap is being lowered and will eventually affect around 250,000 children. • New Benefit Cap statistics show that 19 out of 20 families whose benefits were cut have children. • Only 14% of ...

  • Will you let your children watch the news tonight?

    Children are curious creatures, they like to know what’s going on – and what the ‘grown ups’ are talking about. It’s often easy forget how perceptive children are, how much they take in when we’ve forgotten that they’re still in the room. I wonder how many British children watched the news about the Calais refugee camp ...

  • Post Brexit, the 4-year benefit freeze can no-longer stand

    The cost of living is now rising but Government has frozen the levels of most benefits and tax-credits for the next four years. By doing this the Government has chosen to expose more than 4 million low income families and their 7.5 million children to the full force of rising inflation. In the stable low ...

  • Lampedusa and Mediterranean Hope

    Isaiah 61:1-3 is an encouragement to keep hoping in a world where we can struggle to see any hope at all.  On a recent visit to Lampedusa, Italy, I needed to hold onto these verses more than ever as I came face to face with the pain and despair of migrants risking their lives trying ...

  • Disability Benefits: Great news but where’s the justice?

    The Work and Pensions Secretary has announced a change in disability benefits that people with chronic diseases that will not improve will no longer be repeatedly tested to see if they have, against all probability, improved. This is unequivocally good news, thousands of people’s quality of life will be improved and the Government will save a great ...

  • May’s cynical maiden speech discredits migrants and the UK. Here’s a rewrite.

    The way in which Politician’s use their maiden speeches matters in politics. It is on world stages such as the UN General Assembly that new leaders often reveal insights about their political hopes and ambitions for the future. Prime Minister May has used her maiden speech to the UN General Assembly this week to political effect, ...

  • Prayerful living: the complete picture

    Let me introduce myself, I am the new JPIT intern and I am delighted to be joining such an exciting team. Originally from Tyneside, I graduated from the University of Glasgow last year having studied English Literature. I love to sing and cycle alongside my primary hobby of sampling cheesecakes over a good novel! Growing up I ...

  • Olympics can re-ignite our resolve for justice

    I must confess to being one of those people who have found themselves hopelessly hooked on this summer’s Olympic Games, fuelled no doubt by the blistering success of Team GB. As medal winner after medal winner has been paraded before an adoring public, it’s hard not to want to feel part of the success. In ...

  • In defence of the Living Wage: Morality should have a voice in how much people are paid

    The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has demanded that the proposed rise in the Minimum Wage (now called the National Living Wage for under 25s) be stopped. The underlying rationale is much more worrying than the headline. The IEA’s dismisses democratic or moral arguments about pay in favour of simply letting markets decide. It is ...

  • Troubled Families: Nothing about them, without them, will be for them

    In December 2011, three months after the riots, David Cameron announced that the “Troubled Families Programme” would be rolled out in deprived communities throughout Great Britain. Neither the “troubled families” nor the communities affected had been asked if this program was wanted, needed or was even addressing a real problem. The result was an expensive ...

  • Refugee Week 2016: Scottish faith leaders call for solidarity

    On Monday, Scottish faith leaders called for solidarity with people fleeing oppression and danger to mark International Refugee Day. The statement reads: As representatives of faith traditions and organisations assisting faith communities in the struggle against poverty in Scotland, we share an imperative to offer compassion and justice to those who are afraid and oppressed. We are saddened ...

  • Refugee Week 2016: Learning community with fire and feast

    In the blasted sand dune wasteland behind Calais’ ferry terminal the smell of wood smoke drifts on the air. Rounding the end of a tarpaulin home, we come upon a group sitting by a fire, beckoning us to join them. There follows a bustle of finding chairs, rearranging themselves to make room for a trio ...

  • Refugee Week 2016: Meet Yaman and Thekrayat

    I met Yaman and Thekrayat at a Mothers’ Support Group for Syrian refugees when I visited Jordan in May.  Yaman Maradni is a Syrian, Thekrayat Al-Kuhlfat, a Jordanian.  Together they are Community Health Volunteers for Medair, a charity funded by All We Can, working to support refugee women and families. In some ways the women’s group I ...

  • 590 suicides: Disability tests damage mental health.

    The Government’s disability test – the Work Capability Assessment – damages people. Tonight’s Dispatches programme on Channel 4 provided more evidence of how unpleasant disability testing by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) can be. We already know that treating people this way has consequences. There is good evidence that for every 10,000 Work ...

  • After Iain Duncan Smith’s Resignation

    Iain Duncan Smith has resigned. There have been celebrations in some places and tears in others. The media is full of political analysis about how this will affect the internals of the Government and there appears to be a fight underway about how the man will be remembered. Although I have a view I don’t ...

  • Let’s Tackle the Symptoms of Poverty.

    “The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today” The White Queen, Alice Through the Looking Glass. The poorest have long been offered plenty of jam tomorrow. The current incarnation of this offer is we must “tackle the root causes of poverty” and “not simply focus on the symptoms”. With these apparently ...

  • The Equality Trust’s Aspiration Tax report

    A guest blog from Tim Stacey a former JPIT intern and author of the Equality Trust report “The Aspiration Tax: How our social security system holds back low-paid workers“. The Aspiration Tax: How our social security system holds back low-paid workers You can tell a lot about a society by those it chooses to help and those ...

  • Download the Public Issues Calendar for 2016

    The Public Issues Calendar dates are available for download. Click the link below to access the important dates to put in your diary for this year. Calendar dates 2016

  • Everyone but the government knows having #Enough money matters

    Poor families have, on average, less money than other people.: Last night the House of Lords agreed with this surprisingly controversial statement. They have insisted that the UK’s child poverty measures continue to include reference to how much money a family has. While this is welcome, most people will be astounded that the Government seriously ...

  • #Enough: Take Action

    Tell your MP you want children to have enough: Click here to send them a message Enough is a report by Church Action on Poverty the Church of Scotland the Baptist Union of Great Britain the Methodist Church the Scottish Episcopal Church the United Reformed Church Quakers in Britain

  • #Enough: Applecart “Employment Dispute”

    We are delighted to support the launch of a new short film series from our friends at Applecart. You may remember their video “Poor People – The Factual Facts” explaining the Truth and Lies campaign with the aid of a mop. The storytelling initiative which combines, “film, music, comedy, drama and songs to rediscover stories for ...

  • Was the Spending Review #enough?

    The Government’s change of mind on cuts to Tax Credits is very welcome. It was intended that many working families would now have received a letter explaining that their income was to be dramatically cut. Those letters will not now be sent however the policy change will only have a temporary effect. The plans for ...

  • One More Card

    Today we launch a campaign for everyone to get involved with. We are simply asking you to send one more Christmas card this year. Each year a family send an average of 68 cards. This December we ask that you send ONE MORE CARD to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith. In ...

  • #Enough: One More Card at Christmas

    Thank you to everyone who sent a Christmas Card to Iain Duncan Smith highlighting the need for every child to have #enough. Christmas is over but the Bill that breaks the link between a families needs and the level of support it can recieve from the benefit system is still moving through Parliament. You can contact ...

  • Taxing the poor – then ignoring them

    George Osborne’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) speech last Wednesday contained the phrase: “the richest fifth now pay more in taxes than the rest of the country put together”. This is absolutely not true – it is not even close to true, and it is impossible to believe that the Chancellor and his speech writers do not know ...

  • Conflicts and Reconciliation – European Church meeting explores human rights and public issues

    Rachel Lampard and I met with representatives from 25 other church organisations from across Europe in Strasbourg on 16-18 November.  This long-planned meeting had been organised by the Conference of European Churches and the title of the gathering, Conflicts and Reconciliation was sadly prescient for a meeting in France just three days after the Paris ...

  • #Enough: Our Responsibility to meet families’ needs

    Children without enough to meet their basic needs are denied a decent start in life. These children can expect fewer qualifications, lower-paid jobs, more illness and shorter lives than their richer classmates. That is unnecessary and unacceptable. Enough asks that we keep the link between a family’s needs and the support it is offered by the ...

  • Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015

    The Welfare Reform and Work Bill is currently passing through Parliament and will lead to substantial cuts to family incomes – especially lone parents and other families with children. We are particularly concerned that the Bill also seeks to disconnect the basic needs of a family from the benefits it can receive as this has the potential of ...

  • A Prayer for the Situation in Calais

    The Rev Phil Jump, Regional Minister for the North Western Baptist Association and JPIT Team Member from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, has prepared this prayer to coincide with the publication today of a joint statement by our church leaders on the situation in Calais.   God of all humanity When your people were enslaved and displaced, You ...

  • You don’t get to call it a Living Wage unless you can live on it

    Today’s budget ended with the Chancellor announcing a “National Living Wage”. The name was right, the marketing was cunning but sadly the policy bears no resemblance to a Living Wage.  The Living Wage is an ethical principle converted into a wage rate; today’s “National Living Wage” is a welcome rise in the Minimum Wage, wedded ...

  • Taking money from the poorest makes them poorer

    Taking money from people on low incomes makes them poorer. Removing income does not make people healthier, create suitable jobs, reduce caring responsibilities, free up time to take on extra work, make rents cheaper, make childcare more affordable or cause employers to pay their staff more than the going rate. The above statement is surprisingly controversial. ...

  • Measuring Poverty by Counting the Faults of the Poor

    The Government is intending to change how it measures child poverty. We will move from counting people’s ability to afford the basics of everyday life to counting a selective and set of personal characteristics which muddle the causes and effects of poverty. The question asked by the proposed measures is not “Are you poor?” it ...

  • #rethinksanctions: Responding to your MP

      Hundreds of people have contacted their MP about Benefit Sanctions, many using our online tool. Some of the replies have been positive. The replies which have been less positive have used a shared set of arguments. Below are the arguments used in support of the sanctions regime and our response to them. We hope this ...

  • Ever been late for a meeting? Did you lose a month’s income?

    With a new Government in place, it’s urgent that we keep up the pressure for a rethink of the unjust benefit sanctions regime which is harming thousands of people. There is a new action you can quickly takle to highlight this injustice and many more stories that underline the need for urgent change. Stories like Audrey’s. Audrey ...

  • Graham’s Story: Another reason to #rethinksanctions

    Today a cross party committee of MP’s called for a complete review of the benefit sanctions system. Their report descibes a system that is broken, one that causes unecessary hardship and hunger to no good effect. In this blog Anna Drew tells Graham’s story a person driven to using foodbanks because of an unjust sanction. Just ...

  • We should be sceptical of claims that we know too little to reduce foodbank use – Guest blog by #CheshireHunger

    Time to Rethink Benefit Sanctions was written because churches started asking why so many people were turning up at foodbanks having had their benefits sanctioned.  Andrew Herbert, trustee of the West Cheshire Foodbank, reflects on the important research produced last week into Cheshire Hunger. When we founded West Cheshire Foodbank in 2012, the aim was to offer a ...

  • #rethinksanctions: How I lost my income for a month

    Below is a blog post by a colleague who has been sanctioned. It is not the most egregious story nor is it particularly unusual but it is by a person who had good jobs and after a short spell being unemployed went on to get a good job. He contributes taxes, worked hard at finding ...

  • Feeding Britain

    This morning I was in Westminster, attending the launch of ‘Feeding Britain’ – the report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the United Kingdom. My initial impression of the report is that it seems the Inquiry has resigned itself to the fact that foodbanks and food redistribution schemes will be a major part ...

  • Acting for Justice – One Church’s Story

    A guest blog by Naomi Oates He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8, NRSV) Bell Road Methodist Church in Hounslow has a long history of social action; each year, members stuff ...

  • Personal Tax Summary: Redefining the words “Tax”, & “Welfare” while shaming the word “transparency”

    In the story of the widow’s mite the authorities praise the rich man, while the widow, who gives proportionately much more of her money, is shunned. The Personal Tax Summaries due to be sent to 24 million people look like a modern day retelling of that story. By design the Personal Tax Summary ignores the ...

  • Faith in Foodbanks? – Harvest

    Harvest celebrations are a long-standing tradition stretching back to the days when almost every community in Britain was a rural one. Churches would be decked with the produce of the fields and many of those who gathered for worship would have quite literally been out in the fields, in the days before, engaged in the ...

  • DWP uses figure which says over 5 million go hungry to deny increased need for foodbanks

    The DWP was faced with questions about why over 900,000 people needed help from Trussell Trust foodbanks last year – up from just over 340,000 the year before. The answer given has been used in literally hundreds of media outlets and is a master class in obfuscation, manipulation and deceit.1 on Eastern European migrants’ tax and benefits gets this week’s prize for rapid and unpleasant inaccuracy. The report’s 16 word ...

  • Faith in Foodbanks? – Resources

    This page contains various useful resources for you to download and use. Faith in Foodbanks? – The complete resource (updated September 2014) Individual Sections Faith in Foodbanks? – Why do Christians care about food poverty?  Why is the number of foodbanks growing?  Fact and Fiction about foodbanks.  And ten things you can do with your church. (updated September 2014) Signs ...

  • Faith in Foodbanks?

    Across the United Kingdom, in towns, cities and rural communities, there has emerged a rapidly growing network of foodbanks. Some are relatively small “community larders” while others operate on an almost industrial scale. Local churches and congregations have often played a key role in their establishment. Why is it that we are one of the wealthiest ...

  • Hunger and Food Poverty Inquiry

    Foodbanks continues to be making headlines. Just before Easter the Trussell Trust released its figures for 2013-14, showing over 900,000 people had turned to them in the last year. On Thursday, the terms of reference for a parliamentary inquiry into hunger and food poverty were announced. Co-chaired by the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro, the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry ...

  • Memories from The Street Child World Cup

    Last month I attended the Street Child World Cup in Rio, Brazil. The only tournament of its kind, it brought together 9 girls teams and 15 boys teams of street children from around the world to participate in a football tournament, arts event and conference to campaign for these children’s rights. To attempt to sum up ...

  • Call upon our savings to fight poverty and inequality

    Guest blog by Lisa Nathan – ShareAction Looking within the UK’s largest companies provides a snapshot of the striking inequality nationwide. While executives are earning staggering figures in bonuses, within the same firm the workers on the bottom end of the pay-scale often do not receive even the Living Wage – £7.65 or £8.80 in London. The ...

  • A good day to be a press officer

    It’s tough being a press officer. You frequently find yourself juggling the priorities of your colleagues, expected to do their work justice, but also under pressure to produce headline-grabbing fodder for journos. Add to that the requirement to comply with journalistic law and professional good practice standards and some days it can be one big ...

  • Freud, Foodbanks and Deliberate Ignorance

    Lord Freud, the Minister for Welfare Reform, has again been asked for an explanation of the extraordinary rise in Foodbanks use. Remarkably he managed to produce another implausible answer which also contradicted his two previous contradictory and implausible answers. He stated to the House of Lords: “..clearly nobody goes to a food bank willingly. However, it ...

  • New Liturgy for Lent 2014

    The West Midlands Joint Public Issues Team has produced a liturgy for Lent 2014. These liturgies are short worship inserts suitable to be used in Lent 2014 but adaptable for other occasions with the aim of encouraging and enabling discussions.  They are aimed at encouraging congregations to reflect on the kind of society they would like to ...

  • Unpicking Child Poverty Statistics

    Today the Churches have been challenging the Government on its Child Poverty Strategy and in debates like this, various different numbers get thrown around by various different groups. So we thought it would be good to explain some of the key figures and where they’ve come from: The numbers of children in poverty can quoted before housing ...

  • Truth and Lies…about foodbanks

    Last week I was sent a link to two blogs about food banks, both on highly reputable websites. As co-ordinator of JPIT’s work on this subject the sender thought, rightly, I’d be interested. Indeed, my heart leapt when I saw the title of one – by Katie Hopkins – was ‘The Real Reason Food Banks Have Trebled’. Like ...

  • DWP Disability Benefit press releases “unfit for work”

    The DWP estimates that the level of Incapacity Benefit fraud is less that 0.3% – the lowest of any means tested benefit. Disability benefits have always had a low level of fraud but I have never seen a DWP press release mentioning this – not even a tweet from the increasingly vigorous @dwppressoffice. Less surprisingly ...

  • Dear MPs: Benefits Street is not social science

    When the Chancellor last year talked of people with “closed blinds…sleeping off a life on benefits”, I joked that he had mistaken the series “Shameless” for a documentary. “Benefits Street” now gives us the opportunity to watch “Shameless” but using carefully selected real people. This is depressingly standard #liesaboutpoverty; some newspapers do it every day. ...

  • Children’s Society survey – millions of families can’t afford to keep the heating on this winter

    A cold home is unpleasant for all of us. But for children, cold can cause illness and even death. A shocking new survey by the Children’s Society alongside YouGov and the Mirror paints a stark picture of a Britain where millions of families are having to choose ‘to heat or to eat’ at serious risk to ...

  • #oldliesaboutpoverty: Benefit Tourism

    It is always disappointing to see an untrue and inflammatory statement made about benefit claimants made in Parliament, but here is another example: Viscount Ednam: It is intolerable that aliens should be able to come over here and be kept in idleness at the expense of the taxpayer. 2 The current debate about ...

  • Housing Policy Resolutions for 2014: Hope and Frustration

    Happy New Year to all our readers! What kind of New Year’s resolutions might help the UK to stem the still-worsening housing crisis? The answer to this question is both frustrating and potentially encouraging. Housing professionals have been saying for several years that on the current trajectory, housing will become increasingly unaffordable, leading to rising homelessness, ...

  • Mr Cameron: Stop saying disabled people are exempted from the Bedroom Tax – they are not.

    During Prime Ministers questions David Cameron was asked about the impact of the Bedroom Tax (also called removal of the Spare Room Subsidy) on disabled people. The answer he gave was straight forwardly untrue: “Obviously, what we have done is to exempt disabled people who need an extra room.” 3 Ironically ...

  • Looking into foodbanks

    The Joint Public Issues Team is exploring how we can help foodbanks go further in linking their work and faith, as well as to challenge some of the structural causes of food poverty. We would be very grateful to hear from you if you and/or your church is involved with a foodbank in your local ...

  • Boris’s Tax Heroes and the Widows Mite

    The Mayor of London has declared the super rich to be “Tax Heroes” . It appears that had Boris sat in front of the Synagogue for the story of the Widows Mite, then the impoverished widow giving all that she had would have gone unnoticed, while the rich man, ostentatiously giving lots of money, would ...

  • Truth about Poverty please Mr Cameron – Again

    In June a large coalition of ten churches and two major charities from all four nations of the UK wrote to David Cameron. They asked that three stigmatising and untrue statements made by Government ministers be corrected. The letter received in response was extraordinary in its inadequacy. Together the churches have asked the Government to do better. The Government reply, ...

  • Workhouse without walls? the Work for Benefits scheme.

    In July 2009 there were 22,000 people who had been unemployed for more than 2 years. The latest numbers (July 2013) show that there are now 206,000 people who are long-term unemployed. It is hard to imagine that this increase was caused by a nationwide outbreak of laziness, poor CVs and bad attitudes, but that ...

  • Lord Freud on Disability Benefits: 27 words, 4 inaccuracies – a new record?

    On 24 June Lord Freud stated to the House of Lords: I will set a little bit of context by saying that even in these hard economic times this Government continue to spend around £50 billion a year on disabled people and services to enable those who face the greatest barrier to participate fully in society. That ...

  • Benefit Cap 1: The Cap is NOT expected to save money

    “…we think it is likely that the policy as it stands will generate a net cost”: Letter regarding the Benefit Cap from Department of Communities and Local Government to the Prime Minister’s Office, July 2011. The public believes one of the largest contributions to the cuts in public spending comes from the Benefit Cap. This is ...

  • Benefit Cap 2: The Cap will be imposed on people too sick or disabled to work

    Ministers have repeatedly said that in order to avoid the Cap people simply have to get a job. This is an extremely flawed statement but it is important to note that people who have been assessed as unfit to work, by the extremely harsh Work Capability assessment, will still be subject to having their Benefit ...

  • Benefit Cap 3: The Cap will be imposed on working households

    Ministers have claimed that getting a job will stop benefits being capped. This is marginally true. A couple must work 24hrs per week before they are not capped and a single person must work 16hrs a week. Getting an insecure job, one on a low or zero-hours contract or a part-time job is probably not ...

  • Benefit Cap 4: The Cap is set at below the average family income

    The average family income is £31,500. The average family earnings is £26,000. The difference is that the average family receives things like child benefit. The cap is set below average family income. It is important to note that the families subject to the benefit cap are anything but average. They tend to live in London or ...

  • Benefit Cap 5: Ministers have made statements which are untrue claiming that the Benefit Cap has helped people into work

    As has become common during the Benefit changes Ministers have made provably untrue claims about the Benefit Cap. Eleven churches and two charities wrote to the Prime Minister asking him to ensure the public record was corrected when the Secretary for Work and Pensions stated that he had evidence that the Benefit Cap had encouraged people ...

  • Benefit Cap: Abandoning those in greatest need

    Today the final stage of the Benefit Cap roll-out starts. The 40 Local Authorities hardest hit by the Cap will begin to cut families benefits. The Cap is being presented “as fair to the taxpayer”, yet is seven times more likely to affect a child than an adult – it is exquisitely unfair to impoverished ...

  • Truth and Lies about poverty – did you get a response from your MP?

    Thank you to the many hundreds of you who wrote to your MP about the Truth and Lies campaign. Many people have had responses from their MPs, and have shared them with us. This has been very helpful as it has enabled us to assess how politicians are responding to these concerns around the stigmatisation of ...

  • Telling the truth about poverty: Response to Centre for Social Justice.

    Download a pdf of the response – Response to Centre for Social Justice In March 2013 the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church published The lies we tell ourselves: ending comfortable myths about poverty which highlighted the misuse of statistics to support myths about poverty. The ...

  • Truth, lies and universal credit

    Background briefing for responding to MPs Many of the MPs’ responses to letters from constituents about the Truth and Lies campaign have made mention of Universal Credit. In fact almost any mention of Social Security will elicit a response from the Department of Work and Pensions or Coalition MPs about Universal Credit. This briefing aims to give ...

  • Comprehensive Spending Review: Seven days is a long time in poverty

    It is entirely appropriate that I have waited seven days before posting a blog on the Comprehensive Spending Review. As part of the increasingly “tough” rhetoric about welfare the main story from the review was a seven-day wait until you can apply for benefits. As the chancellor put it: “And we’re going to introduce a new ...

  • Truth and Lies About Poverty – Group Study Materials

    We’ve had some requests for Bible study materials linked to the Truth and Lies campaign, so we have produced this introductory study guide for small groups. It links some of the main ideas in the report with biblical theme with questions, group activities and Bible reflection. The material is written to take up to an hour ...

  • 11 Churches, 4 Nations, 1 Message: Truth about poverty please Mr Cameron

    Churches and charities from all four nations of the UK, have come together to write to the Prime Minister to ask that  government ministers cease to say untrue things about those in poverty. UPDATED: A summary of the letter has also been published in the Daily Telegraph. The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the ...

  • Guest Post: Tackling the scandal of food poverty in 21st century Britain

    Today our Friends at Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam have launched a report highlighting the scandal of people living in the UK today who have not enough food for themselves or their children. The report is excellent, the case studies are heart breaking and the data analysis demonstrates a large and growing problem of ...

  • DWP’s cleverly worded truth, leads to very many lies

    This morning’s DODS parliamentary briefing carried a story under the headline. 1 Million ‘STUCK ON BENEFITS’ One million people capable of working are “stuck” on benefits, the Work and Pensions Secretary will say today. He didn’t say that – if he did he would have been lying. However all three national newspapers which covered the story included ...

  • Philpott: Twisting one story to tar a whole section of our society.

    The report “The lies we tell ourselves” includes the following paragraph “It is always possible to find examples of individual good or bad behaviour, including by people living in poverty. It is also possible to use a story of this example to justify an opinion. However we should not attempt to understand a large group of people on ...

  • Medway foodbank

    Helen Gallagher, coordinator of the Medway Foodbank, speaks with Anna Drew about the increased demand for their emergency food service and what difference the upcoming benefit changes might make.  

  • Benefit changes make April fools of us all, say Churches

    Tomorrow sees the start of a series of cuts to benefits that will hit Britain’s poorest people the hardest. Four major Churches, representing more than one million people across Britain, say that the cuts are unjust and that the most vulnerable will pay a disproportionate price in the Government’s austerity measures. The Baptist Union of Great ...

  • More nonsense about the cost of welfare – and why it is a myth that never dies.

    “Benefits spending up £6.4billion in just three months,” cries the Daily Telegraph.This is simply not true. What is true is that the predicted costs of the total welfare system over the next 5 years have been revised upwards by a grand total of 0.6%. Most of the 0.6% change is estimated to happen in five years ...

  • Neil’s Story

    Neil from Bolton is one of the 13 million people in the UK living in poverty. His income plummeted when health issues forced him to give up work as a long-distance lorry driver. Now, with changes to disability allowance due to take place in April, Neil is worried about the future. He described his situation ...

  • Aspiration, Work and Childcare

    Aspiration is the Government’s word of the day. But what does the Government mean by it? A statement from Mr Cameron’s spokesman when defending the latest childcare plan may give us a clue: When asked if Mr Cameron believed that stay-at-home parents were less in need of state help than working parents, the spokesman would only ...

  • Meeting your MP

    By arranging a meeting with your MP you can help to ensure that the way poverty is discussed in public life stays at the front of political debate. Setting up a meeting with your MP can be intimidating – especially if it is something you have not done before. Use these general guidelines to help you ...

  • Using Myths about Poverty to Defend the Welfare Benefits Up-Rating Bill

    The Welfare Benefits Up-Rating Bill, currently going through Parliament, risks driving 200,000 more children into poverty. Churches have called for benefits which specifically help children to not be cut. For this reason Churches and church leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, have asked the Government to reconsider and exempt the benefits targeted at children. The Government ...

  • IDS’s Sloppy Statistics on the Bedroom Tax

    In today’s Daily Telegraph, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith claims that £155 million has been allocated by the Government to help local authorities assist those worst affected by the new ‘Bedroom Tax’ (a £14 a week levy on council and housing association tenants who are judged to be living in a home ‘too ...

  • Truth and lies – stories

    Hear people who have experienced poverty in the UK speak for themselves “We had really narrow horizons – we could see hills in the distance, but we never got there. We never went on day trips or anything like that. It was a time that was grey and dismal and raining all the time – that’s ...

  • Sarah’s story

    Sarah describes how the heart was sucked out of the community she grew up in when industry moved away. Within three years it changed from a vibrant manufacturing community where people took pride in themselves and the place they lived, to an impoverished and demoralised town. “We had really narrow horizons – we could see hills ...

  • Truth and lies – children’s talk

    Introduction Begin with this simple story Sammy never liked Luke. They lived on the same street, liked to play the same games and had lots of the same friends at school, but they never really got on. Whenever there was a disagreement in their group of friends, Sammy and Luke seemed to be on different sides. Things got a ...

  • Truth and lies about poverty – resources

    Want to explore the issue in Truth and Lies more, and get involved in making a difference? Here’s a selection of resources to get you going. Group study guide on Truth and Lies Bible passages on T&L Information resources Money Matters leaflet Church of Scotland introduction and discussion starter on consumerism. Church Action on Poverty’s voicebox gives stories from people in the ...

  • Sermon notes: What – are we blind too?

    Read John 9 There is a pseudo-condition called Domestic Blindness. If you suffer from (usually male) Domestic Blindness you will be familiar with the experience of spending ages searching for an item in the house. When all options are exhausted, you have to ask for help – only to be told by your spouse that the ...

  • Truth and Lies about Poverty: Infographics

    Please use and share these infographics. Why not create your own and share them online? This excel spreadsheet contains the raw data for these.

  • Truth and lies about poverty: References and data

    The report the lies we tell ourselves is intended to be as transparent  as possible. We hope that the evidence we have gathered is debated and challenged – we  welcome corrections or other points of view. Where available the data used is traceable down to its primary source, and is available in excel files. Click here for ...

  • Myth 6: ’They‘ caused the deficit

    The proportion of our tax bills spent on welfare has remained stable for the last 20 years. It is ridiculous to argue as some have that increasing welfare spending is responsible for the current deficit. Public debt is a problem but why is it being laid at the feet of the poorest? The lies we tell ...

  • Myth 4: ‘They’ are on the fiddle

    Over 80 per cent of the UK population believes that “large numbers falsely claim benefits”. Benefit fraud has decreased to historically low levels – the kind of levels that the tax system can only dream of. Less than 0.9 per cent of the welfare budget is lost to fraud. The fact is that if everyone ...

  • Myth 5: ’They‘ have an easy life

    Over half the British public believes benefits are too high and church-goers tend to agree. Ministers speak of families opting for benefits as a lifestyle choice. Yet we know that benefits do not meet minimum income standards. They have halved in value relative to average incomes over the last 30 years. We know the ill ...

  • Truth and Lies about Poverty

    In 1753 John Wesley said, “So wickedly, devilishly false is that common objection, ‘They are poor, only because they are idle’.” Yet today church-goers and the general public alike are willing to believe that the key factors driving poverty in the UK are the personal failings of the poor – especially ‘idleness’. The lies we tell ourselves: ending ...

  • Myth 2: ‘They’ are addicted to drink and drugs

    Church-goers and the wider public cite families with addiction as the second most common cause of child poverty. While addiction is devastating for the families and communities touched by it, fewer than 4% of benefit claimants report any form of addiction. How did we come to believe this is such a big factor in the ...

  • Myth 1: ‘They’ are lazy and don’t want to work

    The most commonly cited cause of child poverty by church-goers and the general public alike is that “their parents don’t want to work”. Yet the majority of children in poverty are from working households. In-work poverty is now more common than out of work poverty. We readily accept that across the country there are families ...

  • Introducing Truth and Lies about Poverty

    In 1753 John Wesley said, “So wickedly, devilishly false is that common objection, ‘They are poor, only because they are idle’.” Yet today church-goers and the general public alike are willing to believe that the key factors driving poverty in the UK are the personal failings of the poor – especially ‘idleness’. Download Truth and lies ...

  • Robert’s story

    Robert says: “When I first got kicked out, when I was on my own, I was so lonely. I squatted for a while then lived in a hostel and, through the hostel, I came to Action for Children. They used to give me emergency food packages.” “I’m trying to progress myself, get qualifications to get into ...

  • Alex’s story

    Alex moved out of his foster carer’s a few years ago. Like many young people his age, he is trying to stand on his own two feet. In spite of his best efforts, including volunteering and taking courses, Alex has been unable to find work. Alex has dyspraxia and Global Development Delay. Rather than feeling comfortable within ...

  • Melanie’s story

    Melanie had her first child, Max, almost a year ago. The transition into motherhood has not been as easy as she would have hoped – especially financially. The local Action for Children centre was able to give her support through these early months. “It’s quite a jump to go from working to only receiving Child Benefit. ...

  • Kibria’s story

    Kibria* is a single mum in her early30s. Originally from India, she lives in Oxford with her three daughters. The four of them live in a two-bed flat. Her oldest daughter is 14 and she has twins who are 13. She works 21 hours a week as a cleaner. As a result, she is not entitled ...

  • Amanda’s story

    Amanda* says: “My husband worked for many years when our two children were young. I too worked part-time. In 1998, I became ill with a long-term and life threatening heart condition. Due to the stress, my husband had a nervous breakdown, he still has depression and anxiety to this day, that greatly impacts on his ...

  • Neil’s story

    Neil used to be a long-distance lorry driver, travelling all over Europe. Ill health has meant that he has had to give up work. He receives disability benefits and has a car, without which he would be housebound. Neil lives in a two-bedroomed property and is in danger of losing his home because of benefit ...

  • Myth 3: ‘They’ are not poor – they don’t manage their money properly

    Nearly 60 per cent of the UK population agrees that the poor could cope if only they handled their money properly. The experience of living on a low income is one of constant struggle to manage limited resources, with small events having serious consequences. Statistics show that the poorest spend their money carefully, limiting themselves ...

  • Consultation on Better Measures of Child Poverty: Churches’ response

    The Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches have responded to a Government consultation on measuring child poverty, saying that the measure proposed would achieve the opposite of its stated aims.   The Child Poverty Act of 2010 uses four specific measures to understand the complexity of poverty in the UK: relative poverty, absolute poverty, material deprivation ...

  • New child poverty measure ‘fatally flawed’, say Churches

    Four major British Churches have criticised the Government’s proposals for a new way of measuring child poverty in the UK. The Baptist Union of Great Britain, Church of Scotland, Methodist Church and United Reformed Church have accused the Government’s consultation on the proposals of being ‘confused’ and ‘surprisingly badly evidenced’. “Child poverty is an unacceptable injustice,” said Paul Morrison, ...

  • Daily Mail Welfare Story – Untrue and Dangerously Misleading

    If I blogged every time the Daily Mail printed an untruth about people on benefits I wouldn’t get away from my laptop very often. But today’s untruth is designed to soften up public opinion for benefit cuts to be announced on Wednesday – and as such it deserves some examination. The argument from Government which is supported by ...

  • “Measuring the faults of the poor”: Briefing on proposed changes to poverty measurement

    The Government has recently proposed changing the way in which poverty is measured. Currently the measures look at income and material deprivation. Under the new proposals characteristics which are linked to poverty – such as addiction or family breakdown – will be measured. Whilst it is important to look at both the causes and effects of ...

  • Welfare Spending Cuts – IMF data undermines the case

    This month the IMF has published its latest report into the world economy –  the  IMF World Economic Outlook . News stories talked of the report’s lowering of UK growth predictions, but much more importantly the IMF report contains a finding that undermines one of the central assumptions of UK’s economic policy. It provides substantial evidence ...

  • Minimum Income Standards: Reading the Rowntree Report

    The Joseph Rowntree Foundation published yesterday its report on ‘A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2012.’ It seeks to find out what is the minimum level of income is required to sustain ‘socially acceptable’ standard of living. This is an interesting publication in many ways, not least because the data may form the basis ...

  • Looking at the consequences of proposed benefit changes part 2

    As I discussed in yesterday’s blog post David Cameron gave a speech on the future of welfare. One of the main themes of his speech was perverse incentives.This is the idea that you get more money for doing the wrong thing than doing the right thing. The first example he gives of this is the ...

  • Looking at the consequences of proposed benefit changes part one

    The Conservative party wants to talk more about the poverty and welfare, this began with Government proposals to redefine poverty (which my colleague Paul talked about here) and has continued with David Cameron giving an interview with the Mail On Sunday, a speech on Mondayand in a host of other media appearances by senior members ...

  • Government’s new Poverty Measures, and Tax Avoidance

    21 June 2012 This week the Government announced that it was proposing to change the way that poverty is measured, moving from a measure of income to measures of characteristics which the Government believes cause poverty. The Baptist Union, Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church expressed concerns about this move. Read the media release and ...

  • A brief guide to obscuring child poverty

    As I write this Ireland are losing to Spain in the European championships – but only because we insist on measuring success by how many goals are scored. Football is about entertainment, excitement, lots of money and according to my more lecherous friends the sexiness of the players. Why insist on only counting goals? When Sepp ...

  • Stop blaming the poor for poverty, say Churches

    The Methodist Church, Baptist Union of Great Britain and United Reformed Church are accusing the Government of continuing a trend of blaming the poor as new proposals to redefine poverty are announced. In 2006, Prime Minister David Cameron promised to measure poverty in relative terms, which take account of what people need to live on. But ...

  • Worklessness or unemployment?

    How we describe something changes how we think of something. It is different to say that someone “cannot find a job” or is unemployed than it is to say that person is workless. Saying that a person is workless puts their lack of work as a characteristic of their personrather than as a characteristic of ...

  • The Daily Misleading Statistic

    I tend to be of the opinion that the fewer people there are living in material deprivation the better. Normally, I would have considered this an uncontroversial belief but an article that has appeared today on the Daily Mail website has lead me to question if this is the case. The Daily Mail and Douglas Carswell ...

  • The Welfare Reform Bill and the abuse of privilege

    The dream of a generation of Christian social reformers has been dealt a terrible blow: their simple dream was that all who contributed to society would receive at least what they needed. Yesterday, the House of Commons voted to change that principle to “all that all who contribute will receive what they need – unless it ...

  • Welfare Reform Bill – You Can Act!

    Tomorrow the Welfare Reform Bill will be debated and voted on in the House of Commons. The Government is seeking to overturn the amendments passed in the Lords. As I write another amendment protecting disabled children has just been passed in the Lords against the Government’s will. The principle that all who play by the rules ...

  • DLA reform – Disabled people’s views discouraged and ignored.

    As part of the welfare reform bill, the Government is planning to scrap Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and replace it with the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Rather than being a positive step reforming the benefit to make it better able to meet disabled people’s needs, the reform has been a mess from the start. The Government ...

  • A lesson from the Bible for the Minister for Welfare Reform

    Last week in the House of Lords in a debate on the Welfare Reform Bill Lord Freud, the government minster for welfare reform, invoked one of Jesus’ parables. Lord Freud was in the middle of Justifying the proposed government policy that those who have had their Jobseekers Allowance removed for three years because they have ...

  • Action on the Welfare Reform bill

    As you might be aware, at the moment one of the biggest changes to the benefits system since its creation is currently passing through the House of Lords. The Welfare Reform bill will introduce the Universal Credit and change many of the rules governing how the benefits system works. There are a number of changes ...

  • Who is Work Really For? And Who are the Real Scroungers?

    On the eve of George Osborne’s pre-budget report, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published the report “White working-class views of neighbourhood, cohesion and change” This important testimony of an often neglected and despised group in society should not be overlooked through the divisive, false assumption that the interests of white British workers are fundamentally different from workers ...

  • Close the Gap Campaign Calls on UK Government to End Tax Avoidance

    On 31 October 2011, representatives of churches and social justice organisations – including Methodist, United Reformed and Baptist churches, Quakers and Justice and Peace Network – delivered an open letter to Chancellor George Osborne detailing the urgent need to end tax avoidance. At a time of economic crisis and austerity measures, it is unacceptable that ...

  • Plugging the Tax Gap

    Today in the Daily Telegraph representatives from our three churches along with several other organisations are calling on the government to tackle tax evasion. The letter calls tax evasion morally unacceptable and is removing funding which could otherwise go to the poorest in our communities. This is a part of the wider Close The Gap ...

  • Digital first, Benefit claimants last

    In 2013 the Government will introduce a new benefit called Universal Credit which will replace a long list of existing benefits and tax credits in an attempt to simplify the benefits system. The amount of Universal Credit a person receives will depend on the size of their family, the cost of their rent, how disabled ...

  • Two reports on who is being affected by the Cuts: One extremely unjust message

    Today sees the publication of two important reports about who will be affected by the cuts and by how much. As a nerd who enjoys graphs this is a reason for joy; as someone with a care for social justice there is absolutely no joy to be found at all. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ...

  • Paul’s astounding poverty related number of the week!

    Only a thousand people remained unemployed for the entire of the last decade. I love statistics, especially government statistics. I spend a great deal of time trawling through them to try and understand how the government raises and spends its money. It is an affliction and I am on medication. But occasionally I find a number ...

  • “Doing the Right Thing” – the new deserving poor

    The quest to identify those impoverished people who are not to blame for their poverty from the other poor people – who by inference are receiving the poverty they deserve- is as old as the hills. Rowan Williams wrote last week of “a quiet resurgence of the seductive language of ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving” poor’” within ...

  • The Budget – Bad for the Poor but Good for Donkeys.

    As expected the Chancellor did almost nothing in the budget. The July 2010 budget plotted the course and we all wait to see where it will take us. Already the statistics show that where we will end up is a place where the poorest are much worse off, where the services which the poorest rely on ...

  • Silencing Critics of the Cuts

    A number of reports have been coming into me about councils and others gagging their workers to prevent them talking about the effects of the cuts. I received an email from a youth worker, ironically from David Cameron’s own constituency, who recounted how she was corralled into a room with her colleagues, told they would be ...

  • Merlin Agreement – another failed opportunity to create a fairer society

    HM Treasury’s stated aim over the lifetime of the Parliament is ‘to secure a rebalanced and resilient economy that will create the conditions for sustainable growth’ based on the following three priorities: To head  the Government’s drive to reduce the structural deficit in a fair and responsible way.  To create the conditions that secure an economy that is ...

  • Poverty, the Credit Trap and Legal Loan Sharks

    Church Action on Poverty (CAP) launched its Close the Gap campaign on Monday 31 Jan. Running for three years, this campaign is calling on participants to Give, Act and Pray, to bring about a more equal society. Representatives of churches and charities involved in Close the Gap delivered CAP’s new report based on a survey of ...

  • Politicians and the poor. A sliding scale of respect?

    I listened to the proposals for Welfare reform last Thursday seething with anger. A one stage my heated discussion with the BBC Parliament Channel was loud enough to wake my 6 month-old baby in the next room – something any sleep deprived parent will avoid in all but the most extreme circumstances.The announcement talked again ...

  • The Joint Resolution of URC and Methodist Councils on Poverty

    Earlier this month the Councils of the United Reformed Church and the Methodist Church held a unique joint meeting. Among other business, the two councils had a lively debate on poverty and inequality, and agreed the following resolution as a joint basis for further work in each denomination. The Methodist Council and URC Mission Council meeting ...

  • Penny Pinching or Really Hurting?

    Today the government announced the public will get a say in where and how cuts should happen.  After the release of the governments spending (the treasury’s COINS data), this could be another welcome step towards an open style of government. However, before we leap to our keyboards – calculator in hand – it is worth taking some time to think and ...

Footnotes
  1. The line first appeared in ...

  2. The Troubled Families Programme’s original sin

    The birth of the Troubled Families Programme, in the immediate aftermath of the 2011 riots, was tainted by a very great sin. The initial announcement of the programme both misrepresented and insulted the very families the programme was designed to help. The continued defence of these falsehoods overshadows the good work the programme does on ...

  3. Love Your Neighbour – JPIT Conference 2015

    Podcasts Archbishop Justin Welby’s Keynote Address to the Love your neighbour: Think, Pray, Vote Conference. (38m43s) Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.AudioPlayer.embed("audioplayer_1", {soundFile:"aHR0cDovL3d3dy5qb2ludHB1YmxpY2lzc3Vlcy5vcmcudWsvd3AtY29udGVudC91cGxvYWRzL0p1c3Rpbi1XZWxieS1LZXlub3RlLUFkZHJlc3MyLm1wMw"}); Other Podcasts will be uploaded shortly Video from the Day Love Your Neighbour: ...

  4. Changing the law on Child Neglect

    You won’t be surprised to learn that our understanding of child development and the effects of neglect has changed over the past 80 years. You may be surprised to learn that the law around neglect hasn’t. When assessing if a child is suffering neglect the authorities are legally obliged to use a definition enshrined in ...

  5. Work won’t cure Child Poverty

    Last week’s report from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission said something much more profound than the simple headline that the Government will not meet its commitments on child poverty. It said that the current focus on getting more parents to work will not lead to the elimination of child poverty as the Government ...

  6. Child Poverty, meaningless promises & free holiday for every reader!

    I am prepared to commit to sending every reader of this blog on holiday to a destination of their choice on the strict understanding that it costs me and my friends less than nothing and it causes me no inconvenience whatsoever. While you may feel unimpressed by my offer, you may even feel mislead – I ...

  7. Theology and other ways to waste time

    In the second of this week’s blogs on child poverty, Nigel Varndell from The Children’s Society explains why they waste time on theology. According to the story, an American theologian once challenged his student class and his congregation to shout out the first word that came into their mind when he said ‘theology’. The words that ...

  8. Why do we Focus Poverty on our Young?

    In the first of this weeks blogs on child povertywe look at why the youngest are also the poorest – and why this trend is set to intensify Children are the age group most likely to live in poverty. Children are the age-group hardest hit by austerity. We now have multiple reputable analyses – including one ...

  9. Churches respond to Government’s draft Child Poverty Strategy

    The Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches have responded to the UK Government draft “Child Poverty Strategy”. The Child Poverty Act requires the government to update and publish its plan to end Child Poverty by 2020. This target was agreed by all parties and subsequently enshrined in law, however it now appears extremely unlikely that ...

  10. Faith in Foodbanks? – Media

    Here you can find videos and podcasts that compliment the Faith in Foodbanks? resource. Download the Faith in Foodbanks? resource here and find more resources here. To download Podcasts or Videos for use offline, right-click on the link and click ‘Save link as’ or ‘Save Target As’ Podcasts Simon and Sarah’s Story – Simon and Sarah share their experience of needing ...

  11. Housing and Debt: how long will the Government continue to throw fuel on the fire?

    The Citizens Advice Bureau has reported that council tax debt was the most common issue for its clients between January and March 2014. The debt charity StepChange has also reported a dramatic increase in clients seeking help due to council tax arrears, from 25,500 to 45,561 between 2012 and 2013. This is bad news, but has not ...

  12. Fraud, Error and Public Perception

    The DWP Select Committee has published a report entitled “Fraud and Error in the Benefits System“. It points out that much less money is lost to fraud than to error but that much more attention is given to fraud. It also notes there is a tendency in the press to use numbers for the levels ...

  13. Fraud, Error, Taxes and Benefits

    The DWP Select committee has published a report “Fraud and Error in the Benefits System“. The report points out that the public believes that there is much more benefit fraud than there actually is and that reporting often confuses fraud and error – and then calls it all fraud. I have produced some infographics to put ...

  14. Migration Watch report: Unpleasant and Innacurate

    Migration Watch’s report ((Migration Watch: Many East Europeans Work Hard But How Many Pay Tax? – the answer to this question is  “ALL OF THEM”. Migration Watch, however, chooses not to answer it’s own question

  15. Hansard Vol 172 Col 340
  16. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131127/debtext/131127-0001.htm#13112751000012 Hansard 27th November 2013 Column 254