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Sunday, February 26, 2017
Christians called to live on mimimum wage for Lent
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¬†A new campaign launched by the ecumenical agency Churches Together Against Poverty, is calling on Christians in the UK to live on the minimum wage for Lent. Already dozens of people from all denominations have pledged to take part, including the ex-Methodist leader, Rev Inderjit Bhogal; Iona community leader, Rev Norman Shanks, and the Anglican bishop of Wolverhampton, Rt Rev Michael Bourke. Bishop Michael said: "I always drop something for Lent, like eating biscuits mid-morning and drinking alcohol, but this time it will be learning how people cope with poverty. Actually doing it prevents you from being a dry piece of economics. I'm going to learn what it's like. If lots of people take part, then public attitudes will start to change and that makes it easier for the government to be more generous." About ten million people live on the minimum wage, (£4.10 per hour) which was introduced in 1999. The churches want it increased to £5.80. A CAP spokesperson said: "Although the minimum wage has improved living standards of lower-paid families with children, many still remain in poverty. Even with assistance from the Working Families Tax Credit, many families are still unable to afford a healthy diet, warmth and shelter and being able to participate in normal activities that any other citizen would. "Unless people on lower incomes can match the rate of growth of average incomes, they will be increasingly excluded from the opportunities which the rest of society enjoys. This gap appears to be growing as incomes of poorer households have risen much more slowly than those on average incomes." Figures from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation released in December revealed that despite some improvements in other areas, income poverty remains at near record levels. On 10 February - Unemployment Sunday 2002 - CAP launch their Living Wage campaign. The campaign will seek to highlight the inadequacies of the minimum wage, and to ensure that no one working full time should have to live in poverty. To accompany the campaign, they are introducing the 'Living Wage Pledge' for churches across the country to sign up to as a practical expression of solidarity. For more details see:
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