Cuts affect poorest and most vulnerable - Bishop of Bath & Wells
Tuesday 1st March 2011
The Bishop of Bath & Wells has called on parishioners to protest against government spending cuts.
They should draw to the attention of those in government, both local and national, instances of real suffering, hardship or deprivation, said Bishop Peter Price.
He claims the cuts affect the poorest and most vulnerable in society. And he added that the call for a Big Society would be hollow if the government failed to recognise the impact of its decisions. He said church people should encourage, support and help those affected by the cuts. Bishop Peter issued his call through an article for use in parish magazines throughout his Diocese.
“A Big Society calls for a commitment to the common good by government and people alike,” he wrote.
“The society of God’s Kingdom calls for the priority to be given to the poor, lonely, isolated and vulnerable. In society we do together what we cannot do alone.
“Nurturing and encouraging volunteering in the community is good. But it is not something that can be done without resources, anymore than the Hebrews could make bricks without straw.”
The Bishop listed ways in which the cuts were hurting most:
- Job losses, particularly in the public sector
- Food security and human and animal welfare
- Students afraid on debt and unable to afford their education
- Removal of legal aid for victims of dometic violence and abuse
- Withdrawal of funding for youth work
- Closure of libraries
- Cuts to rural bus services
The Bishop added: “It has been said that if government programmes require sacrifices of people, the people need to trust that the result will be a better future for everyone. If that trust is absent then people will see such cuts as unfair and punitive. Many people in our parishes will be affected deeply.”
The Revd. Preb. John Andrews, Communications Officer & Bishops’ Press Officer. Ph: 01934 830208