- Created: Friday, 03 December 2010 10:57
- and - It's the poor who are being clobbered
Two letters from the Rev Paul Nicolson, Chairman, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust - in The Guardian
Saturday 27 November 2010
The savings accounts and health in pregnancy grant bill had its first reading in the House of Lords on 23 November. The Speaker of the House of Commons ruled, after the third reading in the Commons, that it was a money bill. This means that out of the 21 cuts to the poverty incomes of welfare claimants proposed by the coalition, any amendments to the three of them proposed by the bill cannot be debated in the House of Lords. This approach could be used to prevent the Lords from discussing other money-related changes in legislation.
The bill has been strangled without thought to the consequences. Our greatest concern is that incomes that in all government and independent measures are substantially below the poverty line will suffer cuts – of which the health in pregnancy grant is one – without any assessment of the impact on the health of women of child-bearing age, their foetus or their offspring; or the cost of the consequential mental and physical ill health to the NHS or the economy at large.