The following advertisement recently appeared in my local newspaper. ‘Female carer required to support client with all aspects of personal care in own home. Five calls a day between 7am and 10pm over 7days. Driver preferred. £6.75 an hour, 16-20 hours a week.’
I was two years old when Margaret Thatcher came to power, and thirteen when she resigned.
Thatcher’s policies led to mass unemployment, leaving my father on the dole for much of my childhood. I started secondary school the year that Section 28 was brought in, banning schools from presenting same-sex relationships as legitimate.
This week, I completed a survey on the BBC website to discover which class I belong to. In reality, I don't have much doubt about which class I belong to, so I was really discovering more about the people who designed the survey than I was about myself.
By requiring people to work without pay, the government's workfare schemes are pushing more and more people into poverty and unemployment, says Ekklesia associate Symon Hill. Christian organisations need to campaign against workfare, not participate in it, he argues.
I have often been critical of the Church of England’s leadership for being slow to speak out on issues of economic justice. I’m therefore delighted that 43 CofE bishops have criticised the coalition for cutting benefits (or technically, for raising them by one percent, which is below the rate of inflation and therefore a cut in all but name).