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Head of RC agency condemns mini-budget as ‘unjust distribution of resources’

30 September 2022

Alamy

Stormy skies over the Bank of England on Wednesday. The pound fell to a record low against the dollar on Monday. The Bank was forced to step in on Wednesday with an emergency £65 billion bond-buying programme after tax cuts announced by the Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, last week, triggered investor panic over the future of the UK economy

Stormy skies over the Bank of England on Wednesday. The pound fell to a record low against the dollar on Monday. The Bank was forced to step in on Wed...

THE head of the social action agency of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has condemned the “unjust” mini-budget announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, last Friday.

The CEO of Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), Raymond Friel, noted in a statement on Saturday: “Almost half of the gains from the tax cuts due to come into effect next year will go to the richest 5 per cent of households, at a time when many of the hardest-hit households will struggle this autumn and winter with the cost-of-living crisis, previous government interventions notwithstanding. This is an unjust distribution of resources.”

As critics of Mr Kwarteng’s approach said that it had been informed by the “trickle-down” theory of economics, which posits that cutting taxes for the rich means the money they spend will “trickle down” to the poorest, Mr Friel quoted Pope Francis’s view that the theory “expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralised workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile the excluded are still waiting.”

Mr Friel’s statement instead echoed the call made by the social justice department of the RC bishops of England and Wales, earlier this month, for targeted support for poorer households, including the removal of the two-child cap on Universal Credit payments. He continued: “Our country needs a vision for the common good . . . not a vision of economic growth in which a minority prosper while many struggle.”

CSAN, a group of more than 50 RC charities tackling domestic poverty, includes national charities, homeless shelters, and diocesan agencies such as Caritas Salford, where, its website states, in some local authority areas, one in three children lives in poverty.

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