Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A statement on the cuts from Hackney Ecumenical Borough Deans

We are concerned that both direct Government cuts, and indirect cuts through the Council’s support grants, will leave many people in Hackney suffering and hurting. The Government has moved much too fast and needs to spend more time talking with and listening to people in poverty and on its borders, and base their policies on combating the real problems the poor and vulnerable face each day.  

There needs to be a clearer understanding of the injustice and humiliation of poverty in all its forms. Telling people the answer is to get on a bus to get a job is to insult and frustrate people. 
 In a caring society each person should contribute what they can, and be valued regardless of their contribution, as the person they are. That’s how God sees every one of us. 
All people regardless of their status should have access to the law, and the cutting of legal aid will mean many Hackney folk will be left unable to defend themselves when faced with a bad landlord, or discriminatory employer etc.  
Churches should not be asked to take over some of the jobs of the state in any ‘Big Society’ situation. Their role is essentially complementary to state services.
 Large corporations and wealthy individuals should understand that they should make a full contribution, and not set a bad example by finding ‘legal loopholes’ through which they can avoid paying tax.
The Government should find ways to claw back this tax to offset the financial deficit we face, rather than making poorer people pay.
We support the statement made by national church leaders on November 11, 2010, which raised concerns that the proposed welfare reforms are based on inaccurate assumptions about the poor. (see http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/13530 )

Hackney Ecumenical Borough Deans are a group of church leaders representing major Christian church denominations in Hackney.  

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