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Seven-day wait for benefits may cause hardship, says Church agency

By on Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Comprehensive Spending Review plans to cap welfare expenditure (PA)

The Comprehensive Spending Review plans to cap welfare expenditure (PA)

The British Government’s proposed seven-day wait before jobseekers can claim benefits may cause financial difficulties for vulnerable families, a Church agency has said.

Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) expressed concerns about the recent Comprehensive Spending Review’s plans to cap welfare expenditure. The proposed changes involve a seven-day wait before the unemployed can claim benefits, along with a 10 per cent reduction in local government funding.

Liam Allmark, CSAN’s public affairs officer, said: “The proposed seven-day wait before jobseekers can claim benefits could cause severe financial hardship for families who are already trying to balance tight budgets and meet rent payments.”

CSAN is a Catholic agency working for social action in England and Wales. At a recent CSAN conference, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster voiced his concern about the lack of support for struggling families in Britain.

He said: “A social safety net that fails to protect essentials such as food and shelter for those who cannot work, is not worthy of being regarded as a safety net at all.”

  • Albert

    dont they have better things to do than this?

  • NatOns

    Yes, they not only highlight obvious shortfalls – and the often unseen souls who fall between two officials’ desks – they assist the poor souls who must learn the ropes, hoops, and gobble-de-gook of claiming what they too may have paid into .. often over many years on decidedly low earnings, two jobs, and family help.

  • NatOns

    Christian charity begins not with benevolent smiles, easy or pie-crust promises, let alone timely reminders – or it is not Christian. This loves begins with the self-sacrificing gift of one’s life, in imitation of Christ – naked, hungry, crying, derided, opposed, ignored, stripped, tormented, pierced, dead, buried and risen. Not in any vain or actual repetition – He has done what needs to be done in way of atonement – but in our own very ordinary, impossibly hum-drum, petty little lives; but while we may pay lip service to this demand, and drop a few coins in the collection plate or the mission tin, still and all, the Poor Box of our hearts sits unrattled as though our near neighbours need no real assistance from us: the body of Christ, the Church to which they belong .. even if they are not yet born from above into its nurturing bosom.

    There may be no need for starvation diet doles, or holes dug for water supply, or primary education, but there is a groaning need here in wealthy Britain and Ireland for love; in the same manner as found in St Vincent de Paul, the Little Flower, and the wee old woman and man at the end pews who run the parishes’ solitary local commitment; for it is this generous, no-nonsense, world-changing love – and not just weird liturgies – that has seen the greatest destruction wrought in Catholic life since the spirit of Vatican II offered us all the new spring-time of well-intentioned Marxist-Leninist-Maoist liberating Gnosis.

  • Benedict Carter

    We are talking about a delay in payments here NatOns for SEVEN (7) days. not a month, not a year.

  • Benedict Carter

    I do agree that for all the talk of LURVE and social welfarism-type Christianity, the modern Catholic Church is woefully, woefully short of charity. My mother said this forty years ago, I remember it distinctly.

    Has Christ withdrawn His Grace temporarily from the Church? Father Malachi Martin thought so.

  • NatOns

    If I need to pay my rent today, fill the heating meter now, and feed my family throughout, well, a seven day misery is not less miserable and disordering because a week is only seven days long. People in low paid jobs are less able to save money for such emergencies and are more likely to be discarded in down-sizing or rationalizing to meet a company’s needs; a brutally de-humanizing experience, I have little doubt. For me with a loving and tightly-knit family such a dire prospect would have been much less traumatic, also having had work that allowed me to set aside funds for emergencies would have lessened the sting, yet to be told that I should not receive the monies I have contributed to the national savings pot – because of a deferral for whatever unimaginable reason in this day of instant communication – must surely still rankle .. and justly so.

    There are emergency funds of course, if one knows how to play the system – as all too many scoundrels do – but such funds as these do not replace or so much as touch the profound need of accepting, sharing, understanding .. or challenging .. love of the family; and that must include beyond all measure God’s own family in Christ.

    P.S. Sorry to get all heavy on you, man! ;0)

  • Benedict Carter

    No worries. I can see how some people would be affected. But aren’t there better things for these Catholic social watchers do be doing?

  • Jacq

    my sentiment exactly, for example: like stopping cowboy builders ripping people off, Its been a happening for years and nothing is done. And there is loads more things they could be doing instead of harassing the poor.

  • Jacq

    It is a safety net, they have no idea what it is like in the real world. Consequently looking down there nose at people and assuming they all do not want to work. Anyone in there right mind would not want to be on benefits. Just not very nice people (actually evil) must make them feel better about their selves I guess, very strange just not very caring. I am baffled with some of the things they come up with. Hope they moan when the go to meet their maker God and He show’s them the same mercy.

  • Mitsy

    Not if Catholics are going to affected, either because they are going to lose their job or going see an even bigger increase of homelessness when they go out to feed them and even more requests for help from the destitute in our Presbytry’s it is happening..

  • Mitsy

    Nobody in their right mind would choose to go through the horror of having to sign on and deal with rude, unhelpful advisers who are looking for reasons to sanction people, to help their statistics..It is a demoralising, stressful experience and a breeding ground for mental health problems..not helped by the fact that there was not very many jobs and the government is blaming the unemployed, the sick and disabled for it’s economic problems, with the help of the press…The stress is killing people and destroying families…

  • David Lindsay

    The only beneficiaries from the seven-day wait for benefits will be the pay day loan sharks and the food banks.

    And then the benefits will be paid anyway, although the loans will have had to have been taken out by then.

    It is no wonder that right-wing commentators were pulling out at the last minute on Wednesday evening, rather than go on television and debate with Owen Jones.

    Yes, that was actually happening.

  • NatOns

    It is we who withdraw from His favour, wilfully, obdurately, sinfully; after all, He cannot abide with us in such wrongdoing, so – metaphorically – He turns His face from us .. and what a dreadful darkness it is that we then call upon ourselves.

    Yes, your mother was – and still is – right. Vain society with the world breeds and seeds only with the world; and that produces but fleshly self-love, not Love. ‘Lurve’ (I like it, naughty BC ;0) LOL) is about as far from that Love all loves excelling as man can hope to be, nonetheless, we know the Lord is there also .. amid the mind-dimming shades we seem to prefer (that we might the better ‘hide’ our own shameful loves).