Tax credit cuts prompt con­cerns from bishop

The Church of England - - NEWS -

FAC­ING QUES­TIONS about mea­sur­ing the ef­fect of tax credit cuts on lower in­come work­ing fam­i­lies, the Bishop of Portsmouth was told that fore­cast­ing child poverty is “dif­fi­cult”.

The Bishop, the Rt Rev Christo­pher Foster, also pushed the Gov­ern­ment on widen­ing ca­pa­bil­ity gaps in Bri­tish de­fence struc­tures.

The sus­tain­abil­ity of the UK’s food sup­ply was a con­cern raised in the House of Lords by the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Rev Alan Smith.

The Bishop also asked the House what fi­nan­cial help farm­ers will have over the win­ter due to de­creased milk prices, to which Lord Gar­diner of Kim­ble replied that he asked the emer­gency Agri­cul­ture Coun­cil to con­sider re­mov­ing any CAP on farm­ers sub­sidy pay­ments.

Bishop Smith also asked what help the Gov­ern­ment will of­fer to in­de­pen­dent re­tail­ers if Sun­day trad­ing hours are dereg­u­lated.

“There is deep con­cern that lo­cal coun­cils will not be able to re­sist the le­gal ap­peals by some very pow­er­ful com­mer­cial or­gan­i­sa­tions if they try to dif­fer­en­ti­ate in dif­fer­ent ar­eas,” he said.

The Bishop of Lich­field, the Rt Rev Jonathan Gled­hill re­tired from the Lords last week, be­fore the House rose for the party con­fer­ence re­cess.

Re­flect­ing on his ex­pe­ri­ence in his vale­dic­tory speech, Bishop Gled­hill ob­served that the House works best with Cross­bench in­de­pen­dent peers, not an over­all Op­po­si­tion ma­jor­ity.

The Bishop of Ch­ester, the Rt Rev Peter Forster, asked the House whether cur­rent Euro­pean Reg­u­la­tions on mi­grants are work­able, given the num­ber of refugees seek­ing asy­lum.

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