December 5, 2011

Austerity measures introduced by the British government to tackle spiraling levels of public debt are hurting the poorest the most, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster told politicians.

At a Nov. 23 meeting in the British Parliament, Nichols urged politicians to be more creative in finding solutions to economic problems.

Cutbacks are already being "felt disproportionally by the most vulnerable," and families in particular "need our support," he said.

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," said Nichols, president of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

"At the same time, some aspects of the distribution of wealth cause scandal and dismay," the archbishop added in an allusion to huge bonuses still paid to bankers working in the financial district of London.