Monday, 23 January 2012

Faith leaders ask for the government to protect children.

The Methodist, Baptist and United Reformed Churches signed the following letter calling for the household benefit cap to exclude child benefit:

As leaders of faith communities, we are often the first to see the impact of changes in Government policy as it impacts our congregations and the communities in which we work. We are deeply concerned about the planned introduction of a cap on benefits which will be debated in the House of Lords on Monday 23rd January.

Although targeted at promoting fairness between working and non-working households, evidence from The Children’s Society shows that the cap will principally affect children much more than adults - only one in 560 adults is affected, compared to around one in 60 children. As many as 80,000 children could be made homeless as a result of the cap as it currently stands.

We very much hope that the Government will accept the proposed amendment to reduce the disproportionate impact of the cap on children by removing child benefit from household income as measured against the cap.

Child benefit is a non means tested benefit paid to both non-working and working families, to support the costs of raising their children. The amendment works to ensure that it is preserved for some of the poorest families in the Country.

Signed by:

Reverend Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester
Reverend Peter Smith, Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship
Rabbi Laura Janner Klausner, Movement for Reform Judaism
Dilwar Hussain, President, Islamic Society of Britain
Rev Leo Osborn, President of the Methodist Conference
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Assembly of Masorti Synagogues
Maulana Shahid Raza, Secretary General, MINAB (Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board)
Rev Dr Pat Took, President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive Liberal Judaism
Fuad Nahdi, Senior Research Fellow, Muslim College, London
The Revd Dr Kirsty Thorpe, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church
Sayed Mohammed Al-Musawi, President of World Ahlul Bayt (as) Islamic League,

The original letter can be found on the Sunday Times website: