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Archbishop Nichols: remember the neediest in addressing debt crisis

Catholic World News - November 28, 2011

In tackling the United Kingdom’s debt crisis, members of Parliament should be mindful that “the effects of economic austerity and cutbacks are already being felt disproportionally by the most vulnerable,” Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster said in a recent address. The nation’s debt stood at £940.1 billion ($1.45 trillion) in July.

“The increase in youth unemployment, the pressure on housing provision and support, and the impact of personal debt are bringing hardship and distress to those least able to sustain them,” he continued. “At the same time some aspects of the distribution of wealth cause scandal and dismay.”

“The summer’s disturbances in some parts of the country demonstrated a callous disregard for the common good of our communities, increasing the burden for those whose homes and businesses were affected,” he added. “And, ever present throughout these developments, are enormous pressures on families and particularly on our young people, most of whom struggle hard to maintain their dignity and self-respect. They need our support.”

“It is important that we address these challenges in the correct way, so that the decisions taking place here in Parliament on the future of the social security system, the health system and the criminal justice system are shaped by a practical recognition of the needs of and really influenced by the experience of those on the front line of this work.”

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