We need a pro-social, moral budget


Commenting ahead of Chancellor George Osborne's announcements this afternoon (19 March 201), Simon Barrow, co-director of the Christian political think-tank Ekklesia, said:

"Budgets, we believe, are moral documents. They are not just about abstract figures. They indicate the priorities and vision of a society and the choices facing its elected leaders.

"Economic, monetary and fiscal policies need to be pro-social and pro-environment, because they are about how we share and use our resources. Democratic accountability is also vital.

"We additionally want to raise practical questions about how churches, NGOs and civil society groups use their own economic leverage and investment to promote wider change.

"Putting money into social housing, credit unions and alternative financial institutions is one important way forward.

"We welcome moves by the Church of England, the Church of Scotland and others in this direction. The churches need to promote a just economy as a core part of their message and mission.

"It is also vital to appreciate that austerity is not a credible economic policy, it is a flawed ideology. We need to invest in change, not cut support for the most vulnerable while bailing out the wealthiest."

* Ekklesia's 2014 Budget coverage: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/budget2014

* Previewing Ekklesia's budget commentary and analysis: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20283

* On Twitter, follow the hashtag: #Budget2014