Friday, 7 November 2014

Cardinal Nichols attacks zero hours culture and children growing up in poverty

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has attacked the zero hours culture and increasing numbers of children growing up in poverty.

Addressing the fourth annual Caritas Social Action Network Parliamentary reception, Cardinal Nichols attacked a zero hours culture that provides “no reliable hours and therefore no guaranteed income.”
“The practical virtues of planning expenditure, purchasing intelligently and avoiding debt really are difficult in a situation like that,” said Cardinal Nichols. “Others remain on the minimum wage, with no opportunity for wage progression in their working environment. And despite good news on employment figures, there is still a gap for many between achievable incomes and general basic living costs.”
Previously Cardinal Nichols had expressed his support for a living wage, with Church employers now seeking to ensure that such levels of paid are maintained. Recent research from KPMG found that five million people in Britain (22% of the workforce) were being paid less than the living wage.)
“We know and everyone here acknowledges that most people want to get over the problems in their lives and seek and hold a job – a sustainable livelihood for themselves and their families. They know that work is an expression of their dignity. It provides contact with others; it helps their health and spirit as well as their living expenses. And its reward should be a just wage,” said Cardinal Nichols, who underlined that “work is a person’s capital and should be treated with the same respect and protection as every other form of capital, be it property or wealth.”
He then lamented that "a significant number of children are growing up in poverty, despite having at least one parent in work."
Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles declared that it was "impossible to think about social care without a vibrant Catholic caring network."
Pickles though noted the irritation caused in government by the criticism from the Church about the bedroom tax and the growing use of foodbanks.

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