“Benefits freeze is putting the poorest in the way of economic harm”
21 November 2016
Ahead of the Government's Autumn Statement, The
Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the
Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church are calling for
assurances that families will be protected from the expected rise
• Benefit Freeze exposes poorest families to full force of
• 4 million families, with 7.5 million children face further
unplanned benefit cuts.
• Church leaders call on chancellor "to bring this benefit cut
Ahead of the Autumn Statement Church leaders are calling for
the chancellor to not allow higher than expected inflation to
further erode the value of benefits.
Most working age benefits are frozen in cash terms for the next 4
years, allowing their value to be eroded by inflation year on year.
This will cut the level of the support available to more than 4
million families containing at least 7.5 million
Rachel Lampard, Vice President of the Methodist Conference said
"The benefits freeze is putting the poorest in the way of economic
harm. In January when Parliament voted to freeze benefits inflation
was low, stable and predicted to remain low. Today the economic
outlook is very different."
Rising inflation will mean 7.5 million children will be hit by
cuts harder and faster than was ever intended. It is time this huge
cut was brought under control"
The Bank of England predicts that the prices of basic goods such
as food will be the first to rise as result of the fall in the
value of the pound.
Rev Dr Richard Frazer, Convener of the Church & Society
Council of the Church of Scotland said "Keeping a family fed takes
up more and more of low income family budgets. Many parents are
already going without to ensure their children are fed. The cost of
food is rising and more and more do not have enough to eat. A
decent welfare system must ensure that is not the case. Benefits
need to keep pace with the rise of food costs."
Rev Stephen Keyworth, Faith and Society Team Leader of the Baptist
Union of Great Britain said "There are already record numbers of
people seeking emergency help from foodbanks and church run night
shelters are seeing increasing demand.
If the benefit system is to do its job of supporting families
through difficult times there must be a link between the price of
food and shelter and the value of benefits.
The alternative is more hunger and more ill health. We must not
let people's God given potential to be allowed to go to waste
because of poverty."
- Paul Morrison is available for interview - contact Mike Ivatt
via email or on 0207 467 5191.
- The Joint Public Issues Team combines the expertise of the
Baptist Union, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the
United Reformed Church in the area of public issues, representing
more than 800,000 people in the UK