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For people at the sharp end, the poorest and those most dependent on public services, it sometimes feels as if the Coalition has spent the last four years steadily unpicking the very fabric of our society. For a long time this process has been under-reported by the media, but gradually the results are becoming impossible to ignore.
Successive UK governments have made it harder for people in need to get social security, at a devastating human cost. Public services have also been cut, supposedly to save money. Might this have ended up costing taxpayers more?
The use of food banks in the UK rose dramatically in 2013/14, a report published on 9 June revealed. A gripping documentary shown on the same day focused on the experience of children living on or below the breadline.
The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), meeting in Dundee from 14-16 April 2014), has passed an extensive motion on welfare reform and the effects of poverty in the UK.
As of 9.45am on Thursday 20 March 2014, the day after the Chancellor’s Budget statement, these were the comments and responses from the Churches in Britain that we were able to discover. Further updates will follow through Ekklesia’s ongoing reporting, commentary and analysis: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/budget2014
A couple of days ago, I sat in a packed church in a Cambridgeshire village to hear Rowan Williams speak about food banks. The former Archbishop of Canterbury was measured and carefully non-party political in his observations. His address was a model of the power which is exercised when discernment is coupled with commitment to truth and justice.