Following the publication of the Government’s Spending Review on 25 November, the Catholic Union has issued the following response.
Catholic Union Director, Nigel Parker, comments: “This year’s Spending Review has revealed the scale of the economic shock caused by coronavirus.
“The combination of a public health emergency and an economic emergency is having a devastating impact on individuals and families. Sadly, we know that it’s people on the margins of society who are the worst affected.
“Increasing the living wage and boosting pay for the lowest paid people in the public sector is welcome. But it’s worrying that increases in Universal Credit have not been extended into next year, and the Government has once again missed the opportunity to level up support for families by scrapping the two-child cap on childcare payments for those on low wages or unemployed.
“More support for people who are rough sleeping and victims of domestic abuse is also welcome. But there was no extra support on offer for charities and other voluntary organisations, who are doing so much to help people through this difficult time.
“The impact of this pandemic is being felt most by some the poorest people in society, both in this country and around the world. It’s disappointing that in attempting to help some of the people most in need at home, the Government has turned its back on those in need abroad. Targeting our international aid budget more effectively would have been better than cutting it.
“We once again urge the Government to focus on upholding fundamental rights and dignity for all as this pandemic continues.”