New report urges government to 'reaffirm centrality' of safety net principle

By staff writers
June 25, 2015

As the latest poverty figures are set to be released and the government signals its intent to redefine child poverty, Church Action on Poverty has issued a report on the benefit system entitled Restoring Faith in the Safety Net, restating the case for a social security safety net.

"A truly compassionate society is one which expresses concern for the welfare and dignity of all its citizens", say the authors.

They point out that in a time of growing insecurity, becoming sick, disabled or unemployed, or suffering a financial shock or crisis (be it a bereavement or a broken cooker), will not leave anyone penniless, hungry or at risk of destitution.

The report's authors say they have heard "many stories of real hardship caused by failures in the benefits system, often leaving people penniless and hungry. These stories are corroborated by evidence collected by the Trussell Trust food bank network, the Church of England and others, which points to the fact that over half of the people who turn to food banks do so due to delays or errors in, or removal of, benefit payments."

The report urges the Government to "reaffirm the centrality of the safety net principle, and the Department for Work and Pensions to take steps to ensure that the holes we have identified in this report are addressed."

* Read the report Restoring Faith in the Safety Net here: http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/safetynet/report/safetynetreport

[Ekk/4]

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