Religious official slams UK austerity


The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has censured the coalition government’s economic policies, the austerity program in particular, as a national ‘disgrace’.

Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal-designate Vincent Nicholas, told The Telegraph that more people have been forced to endure hunger and destitution as a result of the coalition’s austerity program.

The religious authority warned that the government’s austerity policies have destroyed even the basic safety net.

“But I think what is happening is two things: one is that the basic safety net that was there to guarantee that people would not be left in hunger or in destitution has actually been torn apart. It no longer exists and that is a real, real dramatic crisis,” he added.

“And the second is that, in this context, the administration of social assistance, I am told, has become more and more punitive. So if applicants don’t get it right then they have to wait for 10 days, for two weeks with nothing – with nothing. For…[our country, it] is a disgrace,” noted the religious official.

The coalition government under the Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron blamed its predecessor, the Labour government under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown premierships, when it took power in March 2010.

David Cameron and his coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats under Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, described the benefits system they inherited as a broken system, traping the very people it was aimed to aid, including the jobless and the poor and their childern.

Thus, the coalition adopted the austerity measures in order to tackle the UK’s mounting debts and sluggish growth. But, the measures have sparked public protests in the last couple of years.

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