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Christians call for DWP to end attacks on disabled people

In the wake of Iain Duncan Smith's resignation and the appointment of Stephen Crabb as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Centre for Welfare Reform and Ekklesia have published a letter signed by leading Christians and others inspired by Christ. The letter calls on the Secretary of State to undo the harm caused by his ex-colleague and implement policies inspired by a commitment to Christian principles of justice.

The letter quotes St James: "If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled' without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?" (2:15-16)

The full text of the letter can be read here.

Virginia Moffatt, Chief Operating Officer of Ekklesia said: "After six years of devastating cuts to welfare that have caused intolerable misery and harm to sick and disabled people and their families, it is time for a new approach. The appointment of a new Secretary of State at the Department of Work and Pensions provides a welcome opportunity to stop, reflect and find an alternative way of working. I hope that Mr Crabb will respond positively to the issues we are raising and agree to meet us and the sick and disabled people with whom we work.’

The Right Reverend Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales said: "As Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb considered evidence against the proposed Wales Bill and was prepared to change his mind about it. We hope he will be equally open-minded in his new role and will drive through the crucial changes needed for meaningful welfare reform."

Sir Tom Devine, distinguished academic historian said: "The immoral policies of this government towards  the weakest in our society are still in place and Christians have a duty to oppose them unrelentingly."

Dr Simon Duffy, Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform said: "It is not enough to just stop introducing new policies to attack the rights and lives of disabled people and the poorest in society. These policies have been in place for six years and many are designed to increase poverty year on year. The Government should apologise for the harm it has caused since 2010, calculate the full impact of cuts that targeted the most disadvantaged and begin a full programme of reparations."

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