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28 June 2018, 06:00
The Bishop of Colchester is blaming the government for driving its own people into poverty.
Roger Morris has criticised its policies as "hard-hearted", "tight-fisted" and "cruel", and says he's holding the government to account for the state breaking its promise to the poorest and fuelling growth in the foodbanks on which they rely.
"The Food Bank, brilliant though it is, is a sign that on the whole we have failed," he said.
"We have failed to care for those most in need. We have failed to protect the most vulnerable in society. We have failed in our promises to look after all people from the cradle to the grave.
"And our failures as government, as society, as a so-called welfare state are then mopped up by the third sector.
"Not-for-profit organisations, volunteers and good old-fashioned charity are used to try and repair the gaping holes in the fraying safety net of our benefits system."
"It is ultimately wrong, unjust, inhuman that people should be plunged into such a state of desperation and degradation in the first place."
The Bishop has made six proposals:
1. Raise benefits.
2. Scrap the two-child limit on tax credit and Universal Credit.
3. Pay Universal Credit on time.
4. Stop treating disability claimants as if they do not deserve help.
5. Stop treating migrants harshly.
6. Don't pass the buck or hide behind failed systems.