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Home  >  News  >  Churches Call on Prime Minister to Apologise to the Poor

News

Churches Call on Prime Minister to Apologise to the Poor

Friday May 7 2013

An alliance of Churches representing Christians from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland has written to the Prime Minister asking for an apology on behalf of the Government for misrepresenting the poor.   

The convener of the Church of Scotland's Church and Society Council, the Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, is among the signatories to the letter, which points out that in recent weeks senior members of the Government have given out misleading and inaccurate information about people on benefits. Outlining the inaccuracies, they ask for them to be corrected and for an apology to be offered to those who were misrepresented.

"We are concerned that these inaccuracies paint some of the most vulnerable in our society in an unfavourable light, stigmatising those who need the support of the benefits system," the letter states. "No political or financial imperative can be given to make this acceptable."

April saw some of the most controversial and wide ranging changes to the benefit system in a generation. The letter - also signed by the leaders of the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the United Reformed Church, two Church of England bishops and representatives of the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church in Wales - says that while the churches hold no common view on welfare reform, they all share the belief that that those in receipt of benefits are loved and valuable. 

"What unites us is the belief that the debate around these reforms should be based on truthful information," they write. "At the very least, the most vulnerable deserve to be spoken of truthfully and with respect.

"We ask you, as Prime Minister and as leader of the Conservative Party, to ensure that the record is put straight, and that statistics are no longer manipulated in a way which stigmatises the poorest in our society."

Read the full letter here.


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