MPs in the Westminster House of Commons are debating the Welfare Reform Bill from 12.30pm on Wednesday 1 February 2012, one day after the House of Lords final debate. There are vital issues at stake for disabled people, including the young disabled and those with cancer, for people on housing benefit, for lone parents, vulnerable women and larger families.
Purity and simplicity are quite rare qualities. When "pure and simple" is used to describe something which is in reality challenging and complex, it often accompanies the desire to mislead or to close down argument.
Many people are angry and frightened at the rioting that has caused such damage in cities across England. Some favour harsh punishments. Ideas which have become popular include cutting off welfare benefits to those convicted and evicting their families from social housing. Wandsworth Council has reportedly already applied to the courts to evict a tenant whose son was involved.
A UK government review of local authority duties has raised further fears about the future of social services, says Savi Hensman/ Yet, against a background of harsh spending cuts, this is also an opportunity for people and civil society organisations - including churches and faith bodies - to declare whether they believe that children and adults should be able to get the support they need.
Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, says that in troubled times all people are "called to build relationships of solidarity and cooperation among themselves, as befits members of the one human family."