Cardinal Nichols urges new British PM to address cost-of-living crisis
By Devin Watkins
Members of Britain’s Conservative Party elected Liz Truss to become Tory leader and consequently the new UK prime minister.
Soon after the news was announced on Monday, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, tweeted his “prayerful support” and congratulations for Ms. Truss.
Sky high energy bills
In his role as the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Cardinal Nichols also released a statement calling on the new PM to act quickly to deal with the cost-of-living crisis.
Price shocks in energy markets due to the war in Ukraine have pushed energy bills in Britain sky high.
A typical UK household has seen their energy bill double since the spring, and projections say the price could triple by early 2023.
Serving common good and subsidiarity
Cardinal Nichols said he and his fellow bishop recognize the complexity of the causes for this crisis, and pointed to Catholic Social Teaching as a guide to find solutions.
“The principle of serving the common good means that the needs of the poorest in society must be given urgent attention,” he said, adding that Britain should focus on helping the elderly and families who struggle to pay their bills.
The Archbishop of Westminster singled out the issues of “the level of welfare benefits and the impact of the two-child cap on universal credit payments”.
Small businesses, he added, need the government’s support to survive, saying they help support employment and family income.
Catholic support for struggling families
The Cardinal also highlighted the work of local Catholic parishes and charities to support those in need.
“No one is to be cast aside or ‘discounted’,” he said. “I am confident that throughout this crisis, the Catholic community will do all we can to act on this conviction and promote this principle.”
Cardinal Nichols also urged Catholics across Britain to offer their time and financial resources to help charitable endeavours.
Catholic schools, too, will continue to assist children “whose parents might be struggling financially or in other ways”.
The English Cardinal concluded his message to Ms. Truss by encouraging everyone to pray that British society might “work together to find ways, both short and long term, to alleviate this crisis which threatens the well-being of so many people.”
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