Justin Welby: Food banks users ‘aren’t scroungers’
The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised Conservative ministers for dividing the nation to justify their welfare reforms
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Tuesday 09 July 2013
The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised Conservative ministers for dividing the nation into “scroungers and strivers” as they justify their welfare reforms.
The Most Rev Justin Welby also accused Lord Freud, the Welfare Reform minister, of getting his facts wrong after he suggested that the Government’s squeeze on benefits was not responsible for the growth in food banks. Lord Freud said last week: “It is difficult to know which came first – supply or demand.”
The Archbishop pointed to a Church of England analysis showing that in Durham, 35 per cent of people using food banks were referred by social services because they were entitled to benefit that had not been paid. A similar figure was cited by charities after the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced that the unemployed would have to wait for seven days before they could claim jobseeker’s allowance. Dr Welby added: “Maybe he [Lord Freud] has different figures but those were certainly the figures we kept in the churches … We are very strict about our statistics and we don’t just hand out food – you have to be referred.”
He told BBC Radio 4 it was important not to use “derogatory language”, adding: “I think there is a danger … that people are categorised, that all people on benefit are seen as scroungers and that’s clearly completely untrue.”
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he'd killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Ed Miliband's 'north London set' must be demolished to save Labour, say critics
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...