There is a new kind of poverty in Britain. It is made by politicians, and could easily be ended by politicians. The people enduring this government-enforced poverty are not on low incomes: they have no income whatsoever. They sit in dark cold homes with no money and no food. For them, budgeting and belt-tightening would be the luxury option.
People in the UK unable to work because of depression may have their benefits stopped if they do not undergo cognitive behavioural therapy, which it is assumed will cure them, a newspaper has reported. If this plan goes ahead, sizeable numbers of mentally ill people are likely to die.
The budget announced by UK chancellor George Osborne has been widely reported as appealing to pensioners and savers. Some measures, such as pensioner bonds, will indeed help sizeable numbers of older people. Yet for many people over retirement age, it is will not be good news overall.
Twenty-seven Anglican bishops, a Cardinal, an assortment of non-conformists and Quakers may have a ring of Edward Lear, but this coalition represents a growing momentum of faith-based anger and condemnation of the government's 'reform' of social security (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20200)
Social security sanctions, in which people not in paid work have benefit payments cut or removed for up to three years, have reached record levels. 27 Anglican bishops and other church leaders have condemned UK government benefit cuts and failures which mean that many go hungry.