News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
UK News

Archbishop Sentamu lambasts benefits wait

Warning that millions of people already in debt are being left with "nothing to fall back on", Dr John Sentamu called upon minister to reduce the time period.

Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Writing in the Sunday Times, he said: "In the Bible, the hardest-pressed of all poor people were summarised as 'widows and orphans' for they were the group most at risk and with least support.

"Our concern should be for their present-day successors whose essential outgoings are costing more and more and their incomes standing still or going down.

"They fear Universal Credit, particularly because it seems to assume that everyone has a nest egg which will tide them over as they wait a minimum of 42 days for payouts.

"That is grotesquely ignorant, for millions of people, especially those in need of support, are already in debt and have nothing to fall back on."

Claiming the six week wait is fuelling evictions, rent arrears and rising levels of debt, critics say the wait should be reduced to four weeks.

In the House of Commons on Wednesday, the Prime Minister dodged a Tory revolt over the issue by pledging to scrap charges of up to 55p per minute to call a Universal Credit helpline.

Conservative MP Stephen McPartland, who has threatened to rebel over the roll-out of Universal Credit, suggested opponents were "very, very close" to achieving a "resolution", though the Government insisted no changes were imminent.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.